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Court blocks cancellation of CMI title

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th January 2009 03:00 AM

THE High Court has stopped the Commissioner for Land Registration from cancelling the CMI land title offered to Kampala businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

THE High Court has stopped the Commissioner for Land Registration from cancelling the CMI land title offered to Kampala businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

By Hillary Nsambu

THE High Court has stopped the Commissioner for Land Registration from cancelling the CMI land title offered to Sudhir Ruparelia.

John Keitirima, the deputy registrar of the land division, issued the order pending the disposal of the case.

“An interim order be and is hereby issued restraining the Commissioner Land registration/Registrar of Titles or her officers, agents, servants from cancelling the applicant’s name from the register in respect of LRV 3635, folio 10, Plot 1 Kira road until the hearing and disposal of the main application for an injunction,” the order read.

The land division registrar is yet to give a date to hear the main application to block the cancellation of the title. The land was registered in the names of Speke Hotel (1996) Ltd, which is owned by Sudhir.

The acting Commissioner of Land Registration, Sarah Kulata Basangwa, recently planned to cancel Sudhir’s land title, saying it was irregularly issued.
However, Sudhir petitioned the High Court to block Basangwa’s plan.

Sudhir insists that he obtained the CMI land as compensation after the Government gave away the Shimoni Demonstration School land, which he had been given by the Uganda land Commission.

The Shimoni land was given to the Saudi-based Kingdom Holdings Ltd.
Sudhir, who is represented by Nangwala, Rezida and Company Advocates, contends that he is the registered owner of the CMI land that was allocated to him on the directive of the President.

According to records, Sudhir, a local developer and a property mogul, acquired the land to construct a five- star hotel.

The records reveal that Speke Hotel had paid the ground rent of sh168,750,000 and sought advice on how to pay the premium of sh4.5b that was to be used to relocate and build new CMI offices.

Before the CMI deal, the records show that the Minister of Lands communicated the President’s directive to cancel the allocation of Shimoni land to Speke and allocate it to Kingdom Holdings.

The President further directed that Speke Hotel be allocated the land where the CMI has its headquarters, according to the record in court.

It was agreed that the money that had been paid by Speke Hotel for the Shimoni land be transferred to the CMI land.

In 2006, the Uganda Land Commission prepared a five-year lease for the CMI land of about 15 acres in favour of Speke hotel. The reserved premium of sh3b was to be used for the relocation of the CMI.

“In response thereupon I wish to clarify that the premium as per the lease offer should go towards the relocation. You should not pay this to Government,” the Uganda Land Commission wrote to Sudhir.

After the commissioner for land registration planned to cancel the title, Speke Hotel sued the Attorney general, seeking to take full occupancy of its property.

Court blocks cancellation of CMI title

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