Land probe issues warrant of arrest for businessman Ruta Ngambwa

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By TOM MALABA

KAMPALA – The Commission of Inquiry into land matters has issued a warrant of arrest against Mr Sebastian Ruta Ngambwa of Prime Real Estate Properties, a real estate agent after he failed to answer to a witness summons on Thursday.
The warrant of arrest was issued by the Commission Chairperson, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire on the request of Assistant Lead Counsel, Mr Andrew Odit.

“This is a warrant of arrest under section 9 of the commission of inquiries Act. It is it to any and every police officer, whereas the attendance of Mr Ruta is necessary to appear before the commission of land acquisition, land administration and management. The above mentioned has failed to show up. You are therefore directed to apprehend and cause the said Ruta Ngambwa to appear before the commission at the national archives centre. Hearing this fail not,” Justice Bamugemereire directed.

The warrant of arrest comes after Mr Ruta failed to honour witness summons to appear at the commission to explain himself with documents showing how he purchased land in Buwagga in Busukuma and Busso near Namulonge.

Mr Ruta is at the center of land grabbing accusations in connection to 630 acres in Buwaga, Makenke parish in Busukuma Sub-county in Wakiso District. He also allegedly grabbed another square mile of land in Busso in Nansana municipality and displaced people.
Mr Ruta was dragged to the land probe by the family of the late Joseph Kateregga accusing him of taking over 235 acres of their family land.
Early last month, Justice Bamugemereire and her team visited Buwagga and Busso and spoke to affected families.
After hearing from the families, the commission directed Mr Ruta to avail his land purchase documents to the commission but in vain.
Mr Ruta had also been summoned by the commission on three occasions but he failed to show up and gave no reason.

In January, Ms Margret Nakimbugwe, a 32-year-old daughter of the late Kateregga told the commission that her family sold 30 acres of land to Mr Ruta at Shs345 million but he only paid Shs10 million.
In a purchase agreement signed with the family, Mr Ruta promised to use 30 percent of the land as payment to process a title, he also promised to recover 50 percent of the land occupied by squatters.
However, Mr Ruta maintains the family owed him Shs177 million.
While in Busso, Mr Ruta allegedly used armed gangs to threaten people off land in Busso in Nansana Municipality. He is also accused of razing people’s gardens and houses before taking over the land.

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