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Police probe Makerere land row

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th April 2010 03:00 AM

THE Police has launched investigations into the alleged fraudulent lease of Makerere University land by officials in the lands ministry.

THE Police has launched investigations into the alleged fraudulent lease of Makerere University land by officials in the lands ministry.

By Francis Kagolo

THE Police has launched investigations into the alleged fraudulent lease of Makerere University land by officials in the lands ministry.

The three-acre land located on Plots 34A and 36A on Prince Charles Drive in Kololo, an upmarket Kampala suburb, was leased to Janice Amayo, according to documents from the ministry.

It was later transferred to Nassour Rahez, who is presumed to be an Indian business tycoon.

George William Ssentamu of the Police land protection unit said the probe kicked off a fortnight ago after the university registered a complaint over the alleged fraud.

The Police ordered the withdrawal of the private security guards, whom the alleged investor had deployed to guard the land.

“There are allegations that there was fraud in the transactions,” Ssentamu said on phone.

Top Makerere officials recently accused the lands ministry of fraudulently leasing out the land without the knowledge of the university council.

They said the transaction took place on December 24 last year, a day after the university closed for the Christmas holiday.

Vice-chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba said the university council had not authorised the lease of the plots. The officials said the signatures appearing on the lease forms and the seal were forged.
The documents were signed by Sam Byanagwa, the former university secretary, and Jane Frances Nabawanuka, the former legal officer.

However, Baryamureeba said Nabawanuka had resigned from the university on August 1, 2007, to pursue a PhD in law in the US, where she still is.

Similarly, Byanagwa was university secretary until 2004 when he was replaced by Sam Akorimo, whose term also ended last year.

Byanagwa, a former Rukiga county MP, died in January.

“How could two people, who are not university staff sign lease forms on behalf of the council?” Baryamureeba wondered.

Lands minister Daniel Omara Atubo said the ministry had also conducted internal inquiries but efforts to get the outcome were futile as he, state minister Asuman Kiyingi and the ministry spokesperson were tightlipped about the matter.

However, about 1,700 Makerere lecturers are threatening a sit-down strike next week if the issue is not resolved.

“We would rather strike than let the land be grabbed just like that,” said Dr. Tanga Odoi, the chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association.

Police probe Makerere land row

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