KAMPALA: Kampala Affairs State Minister, Kabuye Kyofatogabye has on Wednesday thrown light on the playground managed by Kampala Parents’ School, but contested by Kololo Secondary School and other businessmen.
Different sources want Ugandan billionaire and chairman of Ruparelia Group Dr Sudhir Ruparelia to lose interest in the playground he wants to develop into a modern stadium, to benefit the wider community of Naguru and Kampala city.
The Parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure which sat on Wednesday has launched fresh investigations into the alleged sale of Kololo S.S Land.
However, the Kampala Affairs State Minister, Kabuye Kyofatogabye, told the committee that property magnet was in the interest of the community when he secured the playground because land in the area was being sold at a fast rate and space for play in the neighbourhood where he owns schools, was shrinking by day.
Kololo SS playground was also in the process of disappearing in thin air when Sudhir moved to secure it, obtaining relevant authorization from Lands ministry.
Today, he wants to develop a modern stadium with play grounds and sports amenities that would not only serve his schools community but also the Kampala population.
Complaints that Kololo S.S had been denied access to its playground, while Kampala Parents School uses it, are economical with the truth, since Sudhir wants to first develop this ground before it is opened to the public.
The parliament committee has summoned the Attorney General to explain the alleged sale of Kololo S.S land to private investors.
Sudhir, as Uganda’s wealthiest man, is one of the biggest property developer, owner and manager. His interests in educations have ensured he secures what makes the school environment.
Previously Sudhir told the Commission of Inquiry into land matters to enforce the law in regard to the questionable acquisition of a playground belonging to Kololo Secondary School by Kampala Parents School 2014, that he followed the legal procedures provided for acquisition of a lease with guidance from the Uganda Land commission (ULC) which is the body holding trust for the land in dispute.
“In 2013, we learnt about an ongoing move between Kololo SS and a company in Demark entering a joint venture for commercial developments. I got concerned that we were going to lose a play field which we were using as a school and I contacted my lawyers to find out the exact owner of the land comprised of the playground and they advised that it belongs to ULC,” said Mr Sudhir, admitting that the lease title acquired by Kampala Parents is restricted to the Ministry of Education and Sports (Kololo SS).
Mr Sudhir defended ownership of the land on Plot 60 to 69, Lugogo Bypass in Nakawa Division saying he plans to establish a modern sports facility.
He holds that Kampala Parents School’s 2014 lease cannot be queried yet ULC holds a freehold title and reversionary powers over the land because they are restricted to only develop a sports facility.
By the time Sudhir came in to secure the playground, the entire school land had been parcelled, titled and allocated to 15 other developers including Chinese Hotel called Nainjing and housing estate Kesington Africa Limited among others.
“I applied through the normal procedure and it was within the powers of ULC to grant the lease and our intention is to establish a world class facility because of the requirements like power, water and sanitation as well as human resource,” he added, dismissing allegations that he is set to establish a commercial complex.
Sudhir’s son and businessman Rajiv Ruparelia said that they have plans to construct a multi-purpose stadium to help promote and develop sporting talents in Kampala.
Rajiv said while appearing on NBS TV’s Lunch Time Sports show last year. He said the stadium will be established on the contested land in Kololo.
“I want to build a football stadium, a volleyball court, tennis court, all-weather pitch, gym and a conference facility for all the sports fraternity to use. Of course there will be a fee, but a normal fee to use the facility,” he said.
“Some people wanted to grab the land. They want to be land grabbers. Unfortunately this is not good for our society,” he said.