Had it been a proper system of governance and management, with respective office holders independently exercising their JD (Job Description) to the letter, the Uganda`s Electoral Commission would be in their permanent home as soon as a year ago, The Investigator reports.
But even with the pressure from the Japanese contractors to have them (EC) vacate their current address on Plot 55 along Jinja Road, to pave way for the much-needed flyover construction, the invisible powers within powers that be will not allow this seemingly easy task, to get in motion.
Reason? The Investigator is in possession of flawless intel of how, because of the vested interests by the deal cutters led by a top First Family member, meetings are being held between government top officials from EC, PPDA, Finance, and Attorney General`s office to push the deal through, in favor of none but only GEMS International wetland, at a cost of UGX111Bn. But why?…
The prized Investigator can irrefutably reveal how President Yoweri Museveni is caught between a rock and hard place after it emerged that a powerful figure deep into his courtyard is pushing for the purchase a new, permanent home for the Electoral Commission.
The controversial property that has been ridiculously priced at UGX111Bn, is Butabika-premised former GEMS International School, partly in a wetland, belonging to NRM business provider Pradipu Karia, and a top member of the First Family.
Museveni had already pronounced himself on the matter by advising against buying the said wetland from Pradipu. We are yet unaware if he, at the time knew whether Pradip is partner with one of his family members.
Nevertheless, in Museveni`s same school of thought is NEMA, the wetlands` regulatory body. In our possession is also evidence on record, of NEMA having marked the land Pradip and colleague are enticing EC into purchasing, as one of the country’s strategic wetlands.
But the vendor is known to be backing on a very powerful man under Museveni’s enclosure to finally seal the lucrative deal. For obvious reasons, we are unable to mention the man’s particulars for now, and we assume you will understand. Suffice it to say, he not only boasts but shares close first family ties via marriage.
The Ugandan of Indian origin, vendor Pradip is also known to be doing brisk business with the ruling NRM Party as well. He prints campaign materials for the yellow bus party, on top of other deals that uninterruptedly keep flowing into his ever-open arms.
But even then, the Party Chairman, President Museveni in his sobriety scoffs at the idea of purchasing Pradip`s wetland. Museveni on March 7thwrote advising that the Electoral Commission abandons the idea of buying the wetland in Butabika.
Museveni on the contrary advised that the electoral body purchases the land belonging to senior Gastroenterologist, Prof. Godfrey Nsereko Lule, a Nairobi-based senior physician. For starters, Lule is the Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine University of Nairobi.
Prof. Lule is the man, top Ugandan officials and well-off businessmen keep running to, whenever you hear of them being airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment. Born 90 years ago in Mukono, Prof. Lule is also a personal friend to President Museveni.
In the new comers` interest, the Electoral Commission has for the last two years put out four adverts through open bidding, to secure a permanent home in the outskirts of Kampala. But they have, at all attempts been failed by corruption, influence peddling, and selfish-driven tendencies. These hindrances are managed with the use of PPDA, IGG and the President`s Office.
Running out of time, they considered a direct procurement and it is at this point that GEMS deal started. But on two occasions, we are ably informed, Prof. Lule had pushed in his bid to let go of his four-acre piece of land in Bweyogerere. This land premises a four storied structure which used to be his hospital.
Having been brutally and unfairly thrown out in earlier bids, he approached his buddy, the President directly before he officially penned him a letter. He explained how his property sits on four and and a half acre in Bweyogerere with a four storied building that was once a hospital and believes it can satisfactoliry accommodate the EC.
We are informed that the Professor also informed Museveni of his family member who had messed up the process simply because he has huge vested interest in GEMS International. As a result, the President ordered the IGG to investigate the allegations and get back to him in two weeks’ time.
We are aware of the IGG`s visit at the two sites twice, accompanied by senior investigators from CID and State House. The teams have also interrogated several people from PPDA and EC and, their report is expected on the big man`s desk in a matter of days.
Nevertheless, our ever-unsettled fly on the wall has picked ripe intel that this will be yet another Museveni`s directive, to be swept under the carpet, with use of just a stick held by his mafioso, untouchable top family member. “He has sworn upon the living God that it has to be GEMS International land or never.”
With such defiance, a senior NRM Commissioned Cadre (RCC), known as Moses Omujugujugu, basing on knowledge of Museveni’s earlier counsel and the NEMA Report, has petitioned the Minister of Lands, Judith Nabakooba, requesting her to cancel the Titles of the said wetland.
“The said land is in a wetland. It was acquired purposely for construction of water treatment facilities contrary to what is being done there. [Instead] there is a school owned by an Indian, a one Pradip of GEMS Schools. The same land is being advertised in Today`s New Vision for rent!” Omujugujugu wrote in his one-page petition on April 4th. Watch this space…
- 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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