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Police fish out KCC’s land title

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th January 2010 03:00 AM

The land title for Nakasero Market was yesterday traced at the Police CID headquarters after a day-long search.

By Mary Karugaba and Florence Nakaaayi

The land title for Nakasero Market was yesterday traced at the Police CID headquarters after a day-long search.

The city authorities also displayed to the press the title for the Constitution Square to disprove claims by businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba that he was holding it.

Basajjabalaba last week claimed he was in possession of both land titles and demanded sh100b in compensation to surrender them.

The director of CID, Edward Ochom, confirmed yesterday that the Police had the original titles for the market in central Kampala and challenged Basajjabalaba to produce his.

“Let him show his titles to the press and they ask him how he obtained them,” he said.

Earlier in the day, there was confusion when it emerged that the titles for the two plots at Nakasero market were missing from the parliamentary committee where they had been submitted in 2007.

The local government public accounts committee in 2007 probed the controversial leasing of the Nakasero land to Basajjabalaba’s company by KCC when he owed the city council billions in market dues he had collected over the years.

Geoffrey Ekanya, who was the then committee chairman, had told New Vision that the committee gave the titles to the CID officers attached to Parliament.

But both the head of Parliament’s CID squad, David Ngobi, and the committee clerk, J.B Kagoro, denied knowledge of the titles.

“We always keep sensitive documents carefully. Right now we have no case we are investigating on Nakasero Market and, therefore, there is no way we could have misplaced its title,” said Ngobi.

Abdul Katuntu, the current committee chairperson, confirmed that the titles were not at Parliament.

He later dispatched committee officials to the CID headquarters to verify the whereabouts of the Nakasero market documents after it was discovered from Parliament’s records that they were handed over to SSP John Bwangu, who has since retired.

After a frantic search, Katuntu called The New Vision in the evening announcing that at last the titles had been traced at the CID headquarters.

“I have directed the Police to immediately return them to parliament,” said Katuntu, sounding relieved.

At a press conference at City Hall earlier, KCC officials displayed the title for Constitution Square to the press.

The documents, shown by KCC spokesman Herbert Ssemakula, indicate that KCC obtained the certificate of title for Constitution Square on August 30, 2000.

Bassajjabalaba had claimed sh100b as compensation for both land titles despite the fact that he was refunded money paid for the Constitution Square and only paid sh400m for Nakasero Market.

At a public meeting in Bushenyi last week, the controversial businessman said the Government had offered him sh32b but he had declined.

“I have already written back thanking them for offering sh32b but I have told them that the value of my two land titles stands at sh100b. At the time I secured the titles, the dollar exchange rate was sh1,400,” he argued.

Police fish out KCC’s land title

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