Temangalo land seller on spot over Nzeyi deal

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By EPHRAIM KASOZI & JALIRA NAMYALO

A retired banker who allegedly sold a 366-acre piece of land to businessman Amos Nzeyi in a controversial deal is expected to face the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters today.

Mr Nzeyi, who also sold the land to National Social Security Fund, is accused of fraudulently acquiring and occupying the land on block 296 Plot 20 in Busiro Wakiso District in 1993.

He told the commission yesterday that he bought the land from Mr Abbas Mawanda, the former managing director of Uganda Development Bank.

Mr Mawanda, who was expected before the land probe team yesterday, said he was unwell and requested to appear today.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the land probe chairperson, ordered him to appear before the commission today to explain how he acquired the land in question.

“Mr Mawanda is hereby directed to appear before this commission tomorrow (today) without fail at 9.30am,” Justice Bamugemereire said.

Nzeyi testimony
In his testimony, Mr Nzeyi said he took interest in the disputed land in 1988 in order to establish a dairy farm, but acquired it in phases from Mr Mawanda.

However, evidence before the land inquiry shows that at the time Mr Nzeyi acquired the land, the family of Muhammad Hassanali Moosa had a running lease granted by deceased businessman Daniel Mugwanya.
It is alleged that the land was registered under Temangalo Tea Estate, a company owned by Mr Moosa’s family before they were expelled by the Idi Amin regime in 1972.

Asked about the running lease at the time of him acquiring land, Mr Nzeyi said any questions can best be answered by Mr Mawanda and his former lawyers; Sebalu and Lule whom he chose due to their reputation and knowledge about land in Buganda.
Mr Nazim Moosa, a retired banker based in Vancouver, Canada, presented an original lease title before the commission, saying his parents acquired the tea estate from Mugwanya and held it until their expulsion.

Last week, the lead lawyer to the land inquiry, Mr Ebert Byenkya, said the matter was still under investigation pending hearing of more evidence.

Commissioner handed to police
Meanwhile, the land probe has handed over the Acting Commissioner in charge of Surveys and Mappings in the Lands ministry, Mr Wilson Ogaro Ebunyu, to police detectives to compel him present all historical documents in regard to location of two blocks of land in Buikwe District.

“Go with our investigators and get us all the original block maps for 541 and 293 in Buikwe as they go in sequence,” Justice Bamugemereire said, accusing Mr Ogaro of presenting false evidence to the inquiry.

Mr Ogaro, who was explaining the discrepancies in the survey reports and disagreements as regards to the location of the blocks angered the commissioners when he blamed the retired Assistant Commissioner for Surveys, Dr Yafesi Okia, for not using survey language in his report over the same land.

It is alleged that Lands ministry officials issued titles to three purported owners; William Baggya, Constantine Tamale and a one Wasswa on Block 293 in Mbiko but imposed it on Block 541 which is comprised in seven villages in Njeru Town Council.
The commission also quizzed the Acting Assistant Commissioner in charge of Surveys, Mr Chris Tembo Omoding, for assigning an unqualified person to carryout survey work for location of the two blocks.

Mr Omoding was also interrogated over conflict of interest and contravention of government standing orders which do not allow public servants to conduct private business for their employer.

Monitor.co.ug

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