KAMPALA: That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni created different units to fight against corruption, this has not stopped corrupt Ugandans from pursuance of final touches on their supposedly graft-smeared deals, the Dailypost authoritatively reports.
And among such deals is where the young city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham, through his Ham Enterprises questionably acquired Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium before he mortgaged it to former Barclays Bank (now ABSA) at a staggering USD7M.
Over the past decade, Nakivubo war memorial stadium land has been steadily been encroached upon with the second biggest stadium in the country, almost left with the playing tuff.
Late last year, two concerned football lovers, dragged businessman Hamis Kiggundu, the proprietor of Ham Enterprises (U) Ltd to court for allegedly acquiring a lease on part of Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium land illegally.
The two petitioners contended in their court documents that despite the Trustees of Nakivubo being prohibited from leasing or creating a mortgage, they have since leased part of the stadium land to the businessman to erect a shopping mall.
The businessman started the redevelopment of parts of the stadium in 2017, after he secured a lease.
The facility was established under the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust Act, 1963 and is run by the Board of Trustees known as the registered Trustees of NWMS, appointed by the sports minister.
But the plaintiffs contended that NWMS Trustees’ conduct of creating a lease over Trust property went against previous legal advice given by the Solicitor General when he had authorised a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement.
The businessman was sued alongside the Trustees of Nakivubo, Absa Bank (formerly Barclays Bank of Uganda Ltd), Kampala District Land Board (KDLB), and the Commissioner Land Registration as first, second, third, fourth and fifth respondents, respectively.
“However, sometime two years back, the second defendant with the connivance or collusion of the first, fourth and fifth defendants unlawfully created leasehold titles over the Trust property and introduced the suit property in favour of the first defendant,” the plaintiffs stated on December 3 2019.
“Subsequently, on March 4, 2019, the first defendant acting in collusion with the second, third and fourth defendants illegally caused the creation of a mortgage over the fund in favour of the third defendant to secure borrowing of $7m and the same was duly registered with Registrar of companies,” they add
He has to that effect, surrounded the sports facility with giant shopping structures contrary to the rules by world soccer governing body FIFA.
FIFA regulations stipulate that stadiums should have ample parking and evacuation space in case of any attack.
But despite the businessman pledging to put up a modern sports facility that should have been complete by the end of this year, the small piece of land left for the stadium, remains undeveloped as the project stalled.
Earlier in 2009, a big junk of the same Nakivubo stadium land was turned into a bus terminal after it was rented out to Allied Owners Bus Association.
Another portion was rented out to market vendors.
When tasked about the encroachment of the stadium land, then junior Education and Sports minister, Charles Bakkabulindi, conceded to the encroachment of one of the oldest stadia.
However, he explained that the structures that has been erected around the stadium were temporary and that a white paper was then before Parliament that if implemented, would allow new developments that would include facilities for more sports like swimming.
The country’s second largest football pitch after Mandela national stadium, has a sitting capacity of 18,000 football fans.
It was constructed by the colonialists in 1921 as a native recreation ground.
In Feburary this year, the current junior Education and Sports Minister Hamson Obua, visited the redevelopment at Nakivubo stadium to assess the situation.
Mr Kiggundu who entered into public private partnership with with government and promised to invest US49m about Shs178billion claims he has met resistance or negative perception from the public about the redevelopment of the stadium.
“There has been a lot of negative talk about my capability. I urge Ugandans to desist from rumor-mongering and pay Nakivubo a visit. No one will stop them as this is a national project.” The businessman said.
The remaining stadium space is 110* 85 meters.
Who will save Nakivubo stadium land?