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Temangalo: Amama-Nzeyi, NSSF Row Takes New Twist

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dosage http://chipinhead.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/sal/class.json-api-post-base.php geneva;”>Formed in March 2013, the panel seeks to find a “long-lasting solution” to the conflict after Nzeyi refused to hand over the area where his house is located on the disputed piece of land.


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Nzeyi has also rejected the idea of compensating six tenants on the land, insisting that he gives NSSF another chunk of land elsewhere.


Sources say the panel is chaired by former deputy Chief Justice, Alice Mpagi Bahigeine and retired Court of Appeal Judge, Steven Engwau and MP Mike Sebalu.


Contacted, Bahigeine could not confirm or deny being part of the panel.


“We cannot talk about that on phone,” said Bahigeine, adding, “I need to first consult my colleagues on how you got that information.”


However, lawyer Peter Kabatsi, who is representing Nzeyi and Amama, confirmed the constitution of the arbitration panel.


“Yes, it is true. This panel was formed to resolve this dispute once and for all,” Kabatsi told this investigative website.


The widely publicized wrangling over Temangalo land started in 2008, with then Security Minister (now Premier) Amama, Finance Minister (now presidential advisor) Ezra Suruma and Nzeyi being accused of heaping undue pressure on the fund’s top shots to buy their 411.44 acres land at a cost of Shs 11.2 billion (Shs 24 million per acre).


In his defence, then NSSF Managing Director David Chandi Jamwa claimed Mbabazi and Suruma had piled overwhelming pressure on him to purchase this land at an inflated value compared to the market value of land in the Temangalo area.


This was in contradiction of his earlier statement that NSSF had willingly purchased the land to build 5,000 low-cost houses.


At the time, Brig. Henry Tumukunde, who was selling 1,000 acres of land in the same area but at much lower value, was barred from dealing with NSSF for unknown reasons.


Jamwa went ahead and introduced the purchase idea to the NSSF board of directors which had business associates to minister Suruma who was the fund’s immediate boss.


Suruma was understood to have had business interests in National Bank of Commerce where Amama and Nzeyi were shareholders. The bank’s shareholders wanted money to keep the financial institution, which was shut down by Bank of Uganda last year, afloat.


To avoid conflict of interest, Jamwa was advised by his board to ensure Mbabazi, a government official, hands over powers of attorney to businessman Nzeyi for purposes of conducting business with NSSF.


An investigation by legislators later exonerated Amama but saw Jamwa and his deputy Mondo Kagonyera fired.


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The scandal shook security organs to the core, leading to the sacking of State House political intelligence boss, Charles Rwomushana.


NSSF argues that it must get all the land it paid for without encumbrances such as squatters. “The fund wants Nzeyi to pay off the squatters from the Shs11bn he received. But Nzeyi is still unyielding. NSSF cannot pay twice for the land,” the source told Chimpreports on condition of anonymity as she was not authorized to speak to press.


However, Jamwa and Nzeyi had signed a “separate small agreement” that the land sold to NSSF would include where his house is located.


More details obtained indicate that the recent NSSF board of Directors led by Vincent Ssekono resolved that Nzeyi and Amama should simply handover the land without a squatter on it.


However, towards the end of Ssekono’s term in April 2012, he changed goal posts, saying the matter should be reviewed and directed that fresh negotiations between the fund and Amama/Nzeyi take place.


The move touched off speculation that Ssekono was wooing the powers that be for the renewal of his contract. Finance Minister Mari Kiwanuka in April last year refused to renew Ssekono’s contract.


It is thought the arbitration panel composed of eminent persons would help NSSF “physically secure” the Temangalo land.


“The NSSF has the land titles for the Temangalo land but it cannot develop it until these disagreements are settled. Amama and Nzeyi signed an agreement with NSSF that they would abide by the outcome of arbitration panel,” the source concluded.


Amama was not readily available for comment.

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