MP Rukaari defends self on purchase of railway land
Rukaari told the MPs that he managed to secure the three plots at a tune of sh357m to the PU through a bank draft before ...
Mbarara City North MP Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari Tuesday, November 30, defended his involvement in the purchase of three plots of land from the Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) land.
The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) is investigating circumstances under which several properties, especially land belonging to URC was sold off, but no money was remitted to the entity.
URC’s land at Nsambya, Kibuli, Portbell and other parts of the country now belongs to private citizens and companies who claim to have bought it from the Privatisation Unit (PU) of the Ministry of Finance about a decade ago.
Rukaari told COSASE chaired by the Nakawa West MP, Joel Ssenyonyi, that he successfully bade for the properties when the PU ran an advert in 2007.
Rukaari told the MPs that he managed to secure the three plots at a tune of sh357m to the PU through a bank draft before taking over the property.
Rukaari said he took about two years to complete the purchase of the properties, and it was after the advice from the office of the Solicitor General that the PU completed the process.
He told the MPs that he has already sold off one of the plots and also given out two others to two staff working in his company.
“I gave two of the properties to my employees through my company. The third one, I sold it after six years, but I can bring information to confirm this,” he said.
The land that Rukaari bought from URC through PU are; Plots 72, 73 and 78 Chorley Crescent, Port Bell an outskirt of Kampala city.
However, the MPs tasked Rukaari to avail the Clerk to the Committee with documentary evidence showing the payment for the three plots, the agreements of sale and transfer of the plots to other owners.
“There is a possibility that many people got the URC land and never paid the money to the Government. URC has never received money and there are chances of collusion. We are giving you up to the end of the week to check that information and bring it to us by Monday next week,” said Ssenyonyi.
URC properties especially land was sold out to private developers but the PU officials stated last week that they did not receive the money directly, but it was deposited by the buyers on the Divestiture Committee account.
Another chunk of land totalling 57 acres at Nsambya and Kibuli was given to private developers who missed out on the Naguru-Nakawa land.
The latter land was given to Opec for the construction of a satellite city.
Government was supposed to compensate URC with shs69b but for the last 10 years, the money has never been remitted to the entity, which is indebted with salary and National Social Security Fund (NSSF) remittance arrears.