‘My Land Purchase Agreement, Receipts Perished In Fire’! Mestil Hotel Boss Sweats Plasma As COSASE Grills Her Over Uganda Railway Land Ownership

Mestil Hotel Boss Sweats Plasma As COSASE Grills Her Over Uganda Railway Land Ownership

By Uganda Online Media

Kampala: The proprietor of the multibillion Mestil Hotel located in Nsambya, Ms. Janet Kobusingye has sweated plasma while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) to explain how she acquired four acres of government land in Nsambya without payment of any premium.

Kobusingye is among the 10 private investors COSASE has been investigating how they acquired huge chunks of land belonging to the defunct Uganda Railway Corporation (URC).

Uganda Railways lost 57 acres of Nsambya land on the orders of the president. However, last year in December, the committee summoned them to answer queries on how they acquired the land.

From the previous meeting, Kobusingye revealed that the land in question was given to her for free as part of her compensation for the land she lost in Naguru which was taken by the Uganda Land Commission.

The MPs led by the committee chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi questioned how she got Nsambya land worth Shs69 billion as compensation for Naguru land worth Shs1.5billion.

It’s on such grounds that the committee asked her to come back with evidence backing her claims on how she acquired the land.

However, when she appeared once again today, Kobusingye told MPs that all her receipts and the land purchase agreement were destroyed by a fire that gutted her properties in downtown Kampala.

The committee further probed how the Mestil Hotel owner controversially acquired an additional lease extension of 49 years and later 99 years without payment of any premium for the land in Nsambya.

According to the court order, the government was to process a Certificate of Title to Kobusingye for only 10 years at no additional premium, and therefore, any additional lease variation was to lead to fresh negotiations between the businesswoman and government.

“The consent judgment is clear; she was given this land for 10 years. Therefore, she was supposed to pay a premium for the additional 39 years and another 50 years because the court did not give her the 49-year and later the 99-year lease extension,” Roland Ndyomugyenyi (Indep. Rukiga County) said.

Hon Yusuf Nsibambi (FDC, Mawokota South County) said that there is no way Kobusingye would acquire a new lease for 49 years and later 99 years without fresh evaluation of the land and premium payment negotiation unless it was agreed upon by ULC.

Kobusingye expressed ignorance on the matter saying ULC would be in a better position to explain premium exemption on the extended leases. She confirmed that ULC gave her the lease extensions without any clause on premium payment.

“By the time I left Naguru, I had invested too much money; I had done the plans, concepts and involved all the stakeholders for the architecture, which was all stopped. So I think maybe I was exempted out of pity,” Kobusingye said.

Now Ssenyonyi has thus given Mestil Hotel owner up to Monday, 14 February 2022 to trace the person who sold Naguru land to her and retrieve copies of the sale and purchase agreement.

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