ENTEBBE: A veteran lawyer Dr Peter Musoke Gukiina has run to court asking that Sudhir is stopped from constructing the multi billion beach hotel after claiming the ownership of a piece of land adjacent to Ssese Gateway Beach in Entebbe where the businessman wants to develop.
On Tuesday, Mr Ruparelia unveiled plans to start in July this year, the construction of the Ssese Gateway Beach Hotel at Kitinda on the Kampala-Entebbe Road. The five-star hotel with a conference and Convention Centre is estimated to cost Shs336b.
However, the construction of the hotel may be delayed after Dr Gukiina laid claim on the ownership of about a quarter acre out of the 20 acre land as Mr Ruperalia in a counter-claim suit accuses him of trespass.
Mr Ruparelia says Mr Gukiina is “a bad neighbour” who filed the case in attempt to stop the construction of Ssese Gateway Beach Hotel for fear of competition since they have similar businesses.
Mr Gukiina operates a restaurant and entertainment place on his land adjacent to the planned hotel.
Mr Ruparelia also refuted claims that the quarter acre belongs to Dr Gukiina and reiterated his determination to continue the construction.
Through his lawyers of Walusimbi & Co. Advocates, Mr Ruparelia states that the case has been filed against a wrong entity saying his company is Speke Hotel (1996) Limited and is therefore not the Speke Hotel Limited that is the first defendant in Dr Gukiina’s suit.
In a January 29th response to the case, Speke Hotel (1996) Limited avers that it’s in any case a bona fide purchaser of the land and that the land in question had no encumbrances and asked court to dismiss the court with costs.
Mr Ruparelia insists the case by Mr Gukiina was brought in bad faith and should be dismissed. The property magnate has also indicated that he is not interested in purchasing land comprised in Busiro Block 443 as the plaintiff claims.
Speke Hotel (1996) limited also averse that the purported survey by Wemo Consultants Planners and Surveyors were never carried out adding that the report is of a biased opinion. The lawyers to Mr Ruparelia insist that there was no survey done and dismissed claims as baseless.
The surveyors and Mr Gukiina have been accused of opening the boundaries of the land without consulting neighbours and rejected claims that the plaintiff had kibanja interests on a part of Ssese Gateway Beach land. The lawyers have told court that Mr Gukiina will be put to task to provide proof of ownership of the land as he claims.
He also denies encroaching on the plaintiffs’ property saying the incomplete building and a septic tank remain intact on a plot outside the fence of the site.
“Speke Hotel (1996) Limited avers that until 2018 the existing boundary wall between the plaintiff’s land and its owner was constructed by the plaintiff himself. It is on this wall constructed by the plaintiff that in the last two months, Speke Hotel (1996) Limited added further construction upwards for neatness, security and durability,” Mr Ruparelia’s lawyers stated in defence.
The lawyers say their clients will ask court to dismiss the case with costs because Dr Gukiina’s suit and prior actions depict selfish interests.
Yesterday, Dr Gukiina told Daily Monitor that much as the people in the neighbourhood welcome the development in the area, he is the real owner of the land in question.
Musoke said, he had already petitioned court challenging the takeover of part of his land by Mr Ruparelia. According to a January 2 plaint, seen by this newspaper, he is suing; Speke Hotel Limited, Mr Ruparelia, Mr Eriaza Lubojje Kaggwa, and Mr Ephraim Ntaganda.
Through his lawyers of Kaddu & Partners Advocates, Dr Gukiina says he is the bonafide kibanja holder of a quarter acre of land.
Meanwhile the former Makerere don is not new to controversy, in 2016 he was accused by National environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and Ministry of Water and fisheries for degrading lake Victoria by “reclaiming and depositing soil and gravel along the entire shoreline” which impacted greatly on the lake water quality.