UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Despite concerns raised by Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda about the frequent renting of space by government departments from city magnate Sudhir Ruparelia, experts and public commentators clarify that no laws are being breached by the rental deals.
Recently, MP Ssemujju publicly demanded an investigation into how Sudhir repeatedly secures lucrative government contracts. These agreements generate an exceptional income for Sudhir, prompting questions about potential hidden influences in his enterprises. Sudhir’s Meera Investments Limited, along with his other firms, accumulate a substantial Shs2.9bn monthly due to these government deals.
Ssemujju disclosed the breakdown of payments coming from various ministries: the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs contributes Shs450m, the Ministry of Information Communication and Technology dispenses Shs320m, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development adds Shs250m, the judiciary, through the Anti-Corruption Court, provides Shs180m, the Ministry for East Africa Affairs distributes Shs280m, and the Equal Opportunities Commission contributes Shs86m monthly to Sudhir.
Additional departments making payments to Sudhir include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which gives Shs60m, Parliament, which pays Shs860m, the President’s Office, which dispatches Shs66m, the Uganda Revenue Authority, which releases Shs300m, and the Uganda Electoral Commission, which remits Shs300m every month for Sudhir’s properties in Kampala.
Ssemujju seeks a statement from President Museveni, querying what makes Sudhir unique, especially since he’s allegedly appropriating government land without any requisite payment.
However, experts and public commentators have argued that Sudhir, a prominent taxpayer and a major investor in modern office, business, and residential properties, is well within his rights to engage in tenancy deals with government agencies.
It is worth noting that the majority of Sudhir Ruparelia’s clients come from the private sector, underscoring his extensive involvement in real estate.
“GoU isn’t in real estate [business]. Sudhir is. It’s his core business. They’ve done business for ages. What’s the issue?” commented Allan Kassujja, a public commentator.
Through his companies Meera Investments Ltd and Crane Management Services Ltd, Sudhir Ruparelia has become one of the leading estate developers in Uganda, boasting impressive projects such as Kingdom Kampala, Hardware City, Market Plaza, and Kampala Boulevard.
Furthermore, his business empire extends beyond real estate to encompass hotels, hospitality, floriculture, education, media, insurance, forex, and banking.
Currently, Sudhir is planning the redevelopment of the former Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) headquarters on Yusuf Lule Road in Kampala. The ambitious project, known as The Pearl Business Park, will cover 18 acres and house a diverse range of amenities, including office premises, a shopping centre, a modern hospital, and a 5-star hotel upon completion.
Meanwhile, Paul Luttamaguzi Ssemakula, the Member of Parliament for Nakaseke South, has disclosed that ever since his opposition colleague Ssemujju publicly brought to light the multibillion deals involving city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and President Museveni, he has come under fire.
Luttamaguzi expressed that following Ssemujju’s remarks about Sudhir Ruparelia’s rental deals, various legislators have either berated him or backed him for his courage in challenging a figure that many fear, all within their WhatsApp groups.
Luttamaguzi further divulged plans for himself and other parliamentarians to request either the speaker of parliament, Annet Anita Among, or her deputy, Thomas Tayebwa, to form a select committee. The purpose of this group would be to examine the connection between Sudhir and President Museveni’s administration.
He asserted that numerous businesspeople in Kampala and across the nation are proxies for influential figures in government. He also stated that the upcoming investigations would not solely focus on Sudhir, but would extend to other businesspeople to evaluate how they accumulated their wealth.
Luttamaguzi outlined how government officials have been illegally acquiring public assets, including school land, playing fields, hospital lands, and public markets, without providing compensation to the government or the people.
He appealed to his fellow legislators, advising that rather than criticizing Ssemujju, they should unite against such corruption. Their role as elected officials is to defend and represent their constituents’ interests, which should not involve standing by as public properties are misappropriated by a particular group of people.
As of now, businessman Sudhir has not responded to Ssemujju’s allegations.
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