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MP Rukaari fails to show evidence of purchase of Railways land

Mbarara City North MP, Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari and Mestil hotel Owner, Janet Kobusingye appear before COSASE to answer how they acquired Uganda Railways land in Nsambya.

Mbarara City North MP, Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari and Mestil hotel Owner, Janet Kobusingye appear before COSASE to answer how they acquired Uganda Railways land in Nsambya (PHOTO /Courtesy)

Mbarara City North legislator, Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari shocked fellow MPs on Tuesday when he said that he doesn’t have receipts and neither does he remember the bank he used to pay for the purchase of the Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) land in Nsambya in Kampala.

Rukaari acquired three plots of land belonging to URC in Port Bell and Mulago at Shs 357 million in 2009. As part of the means to re-capitalize URC which was struggling, the government decided to sell off part of 57 acres of its land in Nsambya and Kibuli at Shs 69.5 billion.

URC transferred the land to Uganda Land Commission (ULC) before it was parceled out to investors. But 10 years later, URC is yet to receive the money accrued from the sale of the land. Investigations by the parliamentary committee on commissions, statutory authorities, and state enterprises (Cosase) on the whereabouts of the money, show that some beneficiaries could have received the land free of charge.

Rukaari, one of the beneficiaries of the URC land, today appeared before Cosase chaired by the Nakawa West legislator, Joel Ssenyonyi. Tasked to show proof of purchase, Rukaari said that he used a bank draft, which was not receipted. He shocked the committee further when he claimed that he couldn’t remember the bank he used to execute the transaction.

He, however, later showed the committee receipts for the payment of 10 per cent for the three plots of land he acquired. Rukaari also told the committee that after procuring the land in Nsambya, he donated it to his workers since the two plots were less than an acre.

Senyonyi gave Rukaari a week to present evidence that he paid for the land in question, saying that their main concern is that URC has never received the money from the said land transaction. He explained that there is no way the MP can claim to have paid for the land without any proof.

The same committee also tasked Janet Kobusingye, the proprietor of Mestil hotel and asked her to explain how she acquired the land. Kobusingye told the committee that government took over her land in Naguru measuring six acres valued at Shs 1.5 billion prompting her to run to the High court.

She says that the government decided to compensate her with 4 acres of land in Nsambya, adding that she didn’t get the appropriate value of the land she lost in Naguru. The committee tasked her to come with all documents relating to her land transactions.

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