KAMPALA, Uganda: That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched Month-December with a walk against corruption has not stopped them, corrupt Ugandans from pursuance of final touches on their supposedly graft-smeared deals, the Investigator authoritatively reports.
And among such deals is where the young city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham, through his Ham Enterprises questionably acquired Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium before he mortgaged it to former Barclays Bank (now ABSA) at a staggering USD7M.
Trust the unrelenting corruption magnates in corridors of power, government recently announced its dire desire to amend the Stadium Trust Act 1953, for purposes of ‘improving its management’, which to our understanding, is an effort to legitimize the graft involved in its lease and in the process, save the current illegal proprietor and his creditors from the impending losses.
But this effort won’t be treaded on a steady ground. Two Ugandans have risen to have the public property preserved, protected and returned to its rightful owners, a development that will see the subdivided piece of land back to its former identity under the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trustees.
George Nyanzi and Joseph Asiimwe have since sued Ham Enterprises, Trustees of Nakivubo War Memorial Trust, ABSA Bank Uganda Limited (former Barclays), Kampala District Land Board and the Commissioner of Land Registration. They contend that the suit property is “statutory property owned by Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust and is protected as public property under Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy and Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.”
Through their lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates, Nyanzi and Asiimwe also want the lease given to Ham Enterprises by the Stadium Trustees, Kampala District and board and the Commissioner of Land Registration, to be cancelled along with the mortgage attached to it as anything to the contrary contravenes the constitution of the Land.
According to the existing law, its Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust that is charged with administration, control and management of the Stadium property on behalf of Uganda Government. Their manning mandate include among others, land, buildings, monies, securities and all other properties vested in them.
They further pray for a permanent injunction restraining Ham Enterprises from developing and/or dealing with the Trust Property on the basis of the disputed lease granted by the Trustees. Section 8 of the Trust Act prohibits them from leasing or mortgaging the Property.
Information available indicate that around early this year, Ham allegedly aided a connivance between The Trust members, Kampala Land Board and the Commissioner of Land Registration to unlawfully create leasehold titles in his Company, Ham Enterprises’ favor. On March 4th 2019, the racket reportedly colluded with the ABSA Bank to create a mortgage which resulted in issuance of the loan facility of USD7M to Ham.
The plaintiffs insist that the racket members created the Titles and authorized the mortgage arrangement in full knowledge of their felony. This is because in place, was the Solicitor General (SG’s) advice against the same. They went against previous legal advice given by the SG who had authorized a Public-Private agreement between Ham Enterprises and the Trust.”
“The 1st (Ham Enterprises) and the 3rd (ABSA Bank) Defendants designedly and deliberately entered into a mortgage agreement to secure borrowing of USD7000,000 knowing or having means to knowing that it was expressly prohibited under the law so as to procure an unlawful private benefit for themselves. The 2nd Defendant intentionally and knowingly ignored the binding legal advice of the Solicitor General not to grant leases or allow the creation of mortgages over Trust Property.” Reads the plaint in part.
At the trial, the Plaintiffs will reportedly aver that Ham Enterprises did not acquire any proprietary right or interest in the suit property at all and that any such purported rights or interests are liable to be cancelled. This not only put Ham’s investment in a tricky position but also ABSA Bank mortgage stands in balance. Watch this space…
- Stanley Ndawula is a two and a half decades’ seasoned investigative journalist with a knack for serious crimes investigations and reporting. He’s the Founding Editorial Director and CEO at The Investigator Publications (U) Limited
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