By Jolly Gwari and Agencies
The Commission of Inquiry into land matters has tasked Albert Muganga, a top shareholder of Pioneer Easy Bus Company, to explain how he acquired part of the land adjacent to Namboole National Stadium. Muganga the son-in-law to the Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa is reported to have obtained the lease over the land in total contravention of statutory laws.
They said leasing the land contravenes the purpose for which Namboole National Stadium was gazetted for National Sports Development in 1989. The Commission observed that the lease was illegally granted without consulting the Ministry of Education and the Management of Namboole National Stadium, the two-parent government agencies charged with managing the sports facility.
However, Muganga the proprietor of Kenlloyd Logistics Uganda Limited denied knowing that the land was illegal. He further said that they were never aware that it was illegitimate to seek lease over public land adding that they could not involve the management of Namboole National Stadium since they were not the bonafide owner of the said piece of land.
Muganga had appeared on Wednesday afternoon to defend the acquisition of 30 acres of land for operations of Pioneer Easy Bus Company. He said as far as they were concerned, the process was legal under a private Public partnership with the government and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
“Under the PPP Agreement, KCCA was to provide land for constructions of bus terminals and stages. When it failed in its obligations, we hoped to rent the space from Namboole National Stadium” he explained.
According to Muganga, they considered their presence near Namboole as strategic in an event that 100,000 people had to be evacuated from the stadium in the unfortunate event of a disaster.
He further told the commission that Pioneer Easy Bus Company leased the land at 590 million shillings for five years in 2017 with the possibility of being extended to 49 years from Uganda Land Commission (ULC).
The Commission’s lead Counsel Ebert Byenkya said granting the lease was a pure act of illegality aimed at benefiting private pockets since the land was cheaply leased out at a price way below the market value. Commissioner Dr. Rose Nakaayi said that it was wrong for Pioneer Easy Bus Company to pursue the lease acquisition after indicating to the Management of Namboole National Stadium that it was renting the space.
Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the Chairperson of the Commission says the Public-Private Partnership agreement was unworthy because it sought to obstruct a greater public good to benefit few private individuals.