About two and half decades back, President Yoweri Museveni placed an order for a presidential van with Mercedes Tycoon Gordon Wavamunno, one of the longtime local top-notch automobile dealers.
The currently bitter, brown, short, pot-bellied automobile dealer who adores white shirts, Wava received Museveni’s lucrative order with a mischievous grin.
But other than placing the order with his reputable suppliers abroad, the Spear Motors` boss allegedly arranged for an inferior version of the presidential van from South Africa.
After making a few modifications here and there, the sly entrepreneur shipped the van to Uganda. The president upon the van hitting Ugandan soil, directed his automobile engineers to painstakingly carry out a fool-proof check on it.
The experts did as directed and filed a report for the son of Kaguta. The report was telling the First Citizen how the automobile man had kicked him in the teeth by supplying him with an inferior presidential van! For those in the know, Museveni hates with a passion, to be fooled by anyone.
Kaguta had ensured a steady supply of cash flow to Wava for a long time. He had given him a lot of big deals which earned the businessman massive profits.
“How can Wava pay me back in that shabby fashion,” Kaguta reportedly agonized upon his engineers` briefing on how the businessman he had trusted for long had fooled him. He issued a few curses before thanking the engineers and ordering them out of his sight.
“Let me think about this deeply. I know how better to handle this kind of foolery my sons,” Kaguta said as the engineers marched out of the State House at Entebbe, in a single file.
In the next days that followed, Museveni would spend hours mulling over how to teach the business a lesson that he would never ever forget.
But first of all, he dialed his Attorney General to drag the automobile dealer to the courts to rescue the taxpayer’s money he had paid him with interest and damages.
The court ended up ordering Wavamunno to pay more than UGX100m to the government without mentioning the interest and damages plus the cost of pursuing for the refund via the law. Oh dear, this was a lot of money at the time the judgment was issued.
Meanwhile, Kaguta was thinking about other means that would end up crippling the man’s business empire. First, the president made a directive stopping government from buying the kind of cars the businessman deals in. This one landed a massive financial loss to the local franchise.
This is how Toyota Uganda ended up benefitting from this fall-out by becoming the official supplier of presidential and largely government vehicles together with spare parts and maintaining them at the same time.
As the shrewd business was wailing over the loss above, Kaguta again directed government to stop maintaining its fleet of vehicles with the businessman’s garage and also to discontinue purchasing spare parts from him!
But Kaguta’s fury was still boiling. He went for another colossal deal which government had granted to Wavamunno. This was the business of exclusively making automobile number plates and selling them out. You remember the GM Tumpeco fame! This is how this one, also ended up going under. The government has since handed the money-minting deal to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).
These losses had a multiplier effect. They ended up affecting and crushing several businesses of the entrepreneur notably that of importing and selling tractors (Stire) whose major client was government still. This is how his public bus transport too ended up crumbling.
As you read this, the man is busy selling off portions of land in his country home in Nakwero along Gayaza, Kalagi road and others in upscale Munyonnyo area of Kampala.
The land deals have seen the businessman encountering PR problems. One of the bibanja holders in Munyonnyo is dragging him through the courts of law, accusing him of selling off the burial grounds of his ancestors!
This ageing businessman has since appeared before the land’s division of the high court and pleaded that the kibanja he sold wasn’t holding burial grounds and that the land was his.
In Nakwero, several bibanja holders dragged the old man to the RDC Joseph Sekasamba Muhoozi, who intervened in the matter by advising the landlord to surrender parts of land to the bibanja holders.
Watch this space for the people this businessman could have wronged in the past and are now cursing him.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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