Bamugemereire orders MP, Jinja businessman to surrender account - National | NTV

Bamugemereire orders MP, Jinja businessman to surrender account details.

Tuesday September 3, 2019


The Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into land matters has directed Member of Parliament Jinja Municipality West, Moses Balyeku and his business partner Mr Thummar Mangalal Jay Patel to furnish details of their bank accounts to the commission to help in an on-going investigation in Plot 24B, Kyabazinga way in Jinja.

Justice Bamugemereire made the directive after Mr Patel denied having facilitated the forgery of minutes of Jinja Land Board and Jinja District Council to award him the contested piece of land.

Mr Harshdad Baroti the Proprietor of Turipati Development Uganda Limited dragged Jinja Municipal Council to the land commission, accusing it of giving land on which he owned a 25-year lease, to Mr Patel to build a shopping mall.

"We want to find the source of the Shs4.5bn that you spent to get this title. There is a theory of a Ugandan investor who is bankrolling this project, the commission wants to find out if you are 'a special purpose vehicle' acquiring this land," Justice Bamugemereire told Mr Patel who was on the stand.

"We are going to find the source of the money he was giving to witnesses even with an election ahead. You two are fronts for a Ugandan investor because many people think if you use an Indian as an investor then things pass," noted Justice Bamugemereire adding that Uganda's investment climate needa streamlining.

The judge said that the commission would get to the bottom of the matter because technocrats, the RDC and ARDC in Jinja had been bribed to secure the land with Mr Patel as the ultimate beneficiary.

Mr Patel also denied having been the source of the Shs2.4bn that the MP allegedly paid to people who had interest in the land. But the judge put it to him that he was the source since the commission had obtained information that he (Mr Patel) had paid Shs500m to MP Balyeku to start the process and also got a Shs2bn loan from Barclays Bank.

However, Mr Patel maintained his innocence arguing that he had no account in Barclays Bank or a political god father.

Mr Patel a businessman and manufacturer in Jinja told the commission that it was the MP who convinced him into a partnership where the MP would provide the land for him to build Kyabazinga Shall mall. Mr Patel said that his role only ended with him signing on the Jinja District land board application form that gave him the land next to the new suspended Jinja bridge.

However, the commission was not convinced that the land belonged to Mr Patel but Mr Balyeku who had injected money into securing the land.

Last week several witnesses told the commission that it was Hon Balyeku who was pushing several technocrats among them, the Chairperson Jinja District Land Board Chairperson Ms Innocent Ngobi Ndiko, to give the land to Mr Patel.

Even the MP confirmed having lobbyied technocrats in Jinja to give the land to Mr Patel.