Letter to President on Temangalo land

Thursday December 5 2019

 

By Nazim Moosa

Your Excellency, as former Ugandans born and raised in Kampala, we seek your intervention in the cause of justice and fairness, during this anti-corruption week, to readdress an injustice with regard to our land, a 366-acre estate in Temangalo, Busiro County in Wakiso District. The NSSF-Temangalo land scandal of 2008, is one of the seven biggest corruption scandals in the history of Uganda. Interestingly, sir, during that scandal, no one asked the question as to how this 366-acre parcel of land was acquired by Mr Amos Nzeyi when it was under the direct authority of the Custodian Board? Nor was the NSSF, a big corporation with a team of accountants and lawyers were held to account for what due diligence it might have done before acquiring this property?

The NSSF is revelling right now in its recent victory in court over the Temangalo land, and has put out bid tenders to commence work. Really, Sir? Is this befitting a corporation that handles workers money for investment purposes and knows fully well of the fraud and mishandling of this property yet decides to proceed on their investment in this land that they know does not belong to them?
The judgement that was rendered last week is erroneous and unjust. The judge addressed the time barred issue, on a technicality, yet ignored completely the merit-based evidence of fraud. Why would he reject the whole suit?

Your Excellency, the facts in this matter are very simple and clear. In 1993, we obtained repossession papers from the Custodian Board, to the Tamangalo estate. We have the original title and company documents to show evidence of ownership. The title clearly shows our registered leasehold interest in the property, with the lease period running to 2003, and a renewal option of a further 50 years. Searches at the Wakiso land office still show our interest registered in the land.
Our presence before the Land Commission Inquiry in August 2018 gave us a platform to be heard. Some stark revelations were made by witnesses brought before the Commission. It was evident that fraud was perpetrated and the existence of our lease was ignored by those who were complicit in this fraud.

Tamangalo tea estate limited
We are grateful to the parliamentary committee for letting us be heard in August 2019. It has been amply demonstrated that the ownership transfers of Temangalo, by all the “so-called” owners, were done outside the proper authorisation of the Custodian Board under whose authority this property was managed.
In spite of this overwhelming evidence of ownership, which we have produced, and which allows us to repossess our land, it has been a struggle of 26 years and still counting for us to get any form of justice in this matter. After making repeated attempts through the courts, through mediation (efforts that were stifled and brushed aside), and through other means, justice has still eluded us.
Your Excellency, when are we going to see justice done? We came back to claim what was rightly ours, at the invitation of the Ugandan Government.

We produced the right documents and were recognised as being the legitimate owners of this property, yet we never achieved physical possession nor were we recognised for any compensation. Is this what truth and justice is, in Uganda?
How much more evidence do we have to produce? Please Sir, we seek justice and fairness from you.
Nazim Moosa,
For Tamangalo Tea Estate Ltd

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