By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Bukedde newspaper staff have finally swallowed their pride and apologized to city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and three others for tarnishing their business names and reputations with baseless propaganda that the four were under investigation over shoddy land deals.
Without any proof, on 12th February 2022, Bukedde published an article alleging that President Museveni had ordered the office of Inspector General of Government (IGG) to investigate Sudhir and other tycoons including Hassan Basajjabalaba, Ephraim Ntaganda, and Godfrey Kirumira for acquiring money from the government through land compensation deals.
As if this was not enough Bukedde shared the baseless allegations with social media bloggers who went on to allege that Sudhir and fellow tycoons colluded with Lands Registry in creating fake land titles in wetlands, gazetted forest reserves, lake, and river shores, and on all public lands, where planned infrastructure like roads, railways and power lines are due for development.
Furthermore, the bloggers stated that the tycoons get information from government officials about the impending projects then later get the titles without formal minutes, instruments, URA tax before they register the land in fictitious names and companies.
Bukedde further alleged that Ephraim Ntaganda got fake titles on government land, later selling the land to Sudhir who constructed warehouses on the land and rented the same to the government only now to be receiving billions of money in rent which was all baseless with no evidence.
Bloggers also reported Ephraim Ntaganda and Sudhir Ruparelia working with top Ministry of Lands officials got a substitute title for the Naguru estate land initially given to Opec properties. Sudhir and Ntaganda have now subdivided the Naguru land and are selling plots to interested buyers.
However, in response, businessman Sudhir Ruparelia noted that those are selfish individuals creating nonexistent stories to earn a living.
“Leave them with their fake things, those people are creating nonexistent stories to find a living forgetting that if I act they may regret, the process of allocating Naguru land to Meera, Roko, and others was transparent and was handled by ULC. In any case, why would I pay anybody for that?…that’s is rubbish anyway.” Sudhir said in a brief interview with our reporter.
Bukedde in an apology published on page four of 7th March 2022, noted that there is no ongoing investigation against the tycoons and their names were mistakenly used in the story adding that they did not mean to harm them.
“We apologize for the inconveniences and harm the fake story may have caused to the tycoons and our readers.” Bukeddde newspaper wrote.