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Uganda Railways Corporation denies giving out extra land to private investors

The Committee in session as they met the URC officials

The management of Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) has today Thursday denied having any knowledge on the circumstances, under which the entity’s extra land was given out to local investors.

This was revealed by the entity’s Managing Director Stanley Sendegeya, while appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).

During the discourse, Sendegeya together with other URC officials were tasked to explain how more plots of land were given out to the so called private investors, contrary to what they were originally supposed to get.

Located in Nsambya, the 20-acre land in question is said to have been illegally acquired by over 10 private investors, under cover of compensation for the loss of their land in Naguru, that had been unpopulated and taken over by government.

The point of sharp contention is how these private investors ended aquiring 72.78 acres of land, as opposed to 57 acres that were meant for them.

Explanations were also sought as to why other  tycoons like Hassan Basajjabalaba ended up acquiring a plot on the contentious land, on which he constructed his Arena Mall, yet he was not among the original beneficiaries.

Sendegeya made it clear that the entity he leads has no knowledge on how the said individuals shared more plots on Nsambya land, as a wedding cake.
He further confirmed cabinet ‘s decision to compensate those who had lost land in Nakawa, with 57 acres of land belonging to URC in Nsambya, but wondered where the bonus acres emerged from.

“On Nsambya land, on record, we as URC we got instructions of 57.93 acres. So the instructions were 57.93 acres, which consistently we got communication and documentation, that we were going to be paid so much to give away this land, to transfer to Uganda Land Commission and that’s what we did. We didnt participate in allocation to any one,” said Ssendegeya.

“…….so the distribution of who got and who never got, we really, we had no role to play and we have no information,” he added.

Previously, the same committee questioned Mestil Hotel owner Agnes Kobusingye, one of the controversial investors on how she got Nsambya land worth sh69 billion compensation for Naguru land worth sh1.5 billion only.

Confronted with the task of supplying original documents verifying how she ended up getting this huge chunk of land, she suprised the legislators by saying original documents were burnt to ashes in a fire peril.

Another local investor Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari was in November 2021 tasked to explain how he acquired more three plots of land, as opposed to what had been apportioned to him.

He however shocked legislators by saying that he forgot the whereabouts of land purchase documents and receipts. His case has since been referred to the Inspectorate of Government for further investigation.

Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at editorial@watchdoguganda.com

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