This investigative website Friday last week exclusively leaked what looks like acts of sabotage purportedly being meted out by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), to the United Kingdom-based investors here to develop the country’s first ever multi-billion Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub.
We sourced the information we used in our previous story from a court case filed at the High court by the current leasers of the subject land. The developers of the ICT hub moved to court after being told by a group of Chinese that UIA had leased the same land to them. UIA had also issued verbal instructions to those investors to halt the works at the site and hand back the lease agreement to it.
We are now here to reveal how the investors from UK had spent a cool two billion shillings already to secure the land which UIA now wants to irregularly lease out. They had done that by erecting a fence all around the subject land, as if on cue, some groups of people were lurking around to grab it and in readiness to proceed to embark on the main project itself. That is backed up by a July 5th 2023 letter the MD of Maroora Technologies SMC, Mohan sent to the Attorney General. That letter was informing the attorney general about moves by UIA to breach their lease. The agency had ordered the halting any works at the ICT hub site and the developers to hand back the lease agreement.
In effect, the leasers were pleading with the attorney general to use his position as the government principal legal advisor to counsel UIA, not to dare to breach the law to avoid the fire consequences that follow. UIA is a government agency which the attorney general is mandated to legally counsel. Therefore, Mohan’s letter was justified and in order. In that letter, the MD opens up to the attorney that each passing day the works remains sabotaged, they end up incurring a loss equalling to five million shillings.
We have it on good authority that the attorney general recieved that letter. We are firm about this, since his office signed and even stamped it. But having aknowledged receipt of that letter, the attorney general, alas, ignored to help out as the investors had asked him. It’s such inaction by the attorney general which has since prompted the affected investors to escalate these matters to the arleady case-backlog-burdened courts of law. It’s important to note, going forward, the same UIA which is currently planning to give away the subject land to third parties. It’s one and the same UIA which leased out the same land to the current leasers. That happened in March 2016.
The only difference between now and then is merely that Eng Frank Ssebbowa was the director general of UIA in March 2016 but, who, Robert Mukiza has since replaced. On March 29th 2016, Eng Ssebbowa, in his capacity as the director general of UIA then, signed the agreement leasing out the subject land to the current leasers. That is the same lease agreement which Ssebbowa’s successor, Robert Mukiza, however, stands currently accused of seeking to breach. While the agreement expressly states that the lease must be extended by 49 years, the case in court alleges, Mukiza is seeking to circumvent that clear provision by instead moving to give away the lease to third parties who are said to be Chinese.
- 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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