Fresh controversy as deputy registrar overturns Tirupati’s land case win
Jinja- 30, August 2021: Controversy surrounding the 13-acre land that has been a centre of conflicts pitting two rival Indian tycoons and some local politicians from the city is far from over.
This follows a decision by a junior judicial officer to overturn the ruling made by his boss.
What has been happening and why the above decision? The land commonly known as Tirupati is on plot 24 along Kyabazinga Way, Nalufenya B village near the New Nile Bridge was in 2008 leased out to Tirupati Development Uganda Ltd by the then Jinja Municipal Council to establish a recreation centre.
Two weeks ago, the High Court sitting in Jinja, presided over by Lady Judge Justice Jeanne Rwakakooko, ruled in favor of Harshod Barot, the managing director of Tirupati Development Uganda Ltd.
The land in contention is commonly known as “Tirupati”.
The land was consequently officially handed over by Yunus Biboona, the Jinja City Council Senior Law Enforcement/Legal officer to Tirupati. Miraj Barot represented the latter.
However, shortly after fencing the land, the Jinja High Court Deputy Registrar, Fred KB Waninda, has issued a fresh order restraining Tirupati from implementing the order of his boss until it concluded a fresh suit filed by Patel.
‘… in the meantime, the respondent (Tirupati Development Uganda Ltd is restrained from taking any step regarding the execution, implementation of the orders in the main suit until 10/9/2021 or after disposal of this application…’ reads part of Waninda’s order.
It’s understood that Patel (petitioner) has lodged another suit (misc. application number 139 of 2021) arising from the already concluded civil suit number 081 of 2019 and misc. application number 138 of 2021.
This now brings in a fresh controversy on the juicy piece of land that has cost many civil servants, including the police, their jobs emanating from undue pressure and influence peddling from some shrewd politicians.
Jordan Ssebuliba Kiwanuka and Fahad Siraj of Aegis Advocates and Simon Peter Sekidde of Sekidde Associated Advocates, the attorney representing Tirupati have described the order as “irregular”, vowing to object saying, “an assistant registrar of the High Court does not have the authority to halt the orders of a Judge of the same court.”
Patel is being represented by Sylvester Henry Wamboga and Henry Nyegenye of Arcadia Advocates.
Miraj maintains the land is for Tirupati and accuses his business rival of using the court to frustrate their development efforts in establishing the first ever modern shopping mall outside Kampala.
Tension remains high as some hooligans led by a one Simon Kalulu, alias mayor omuto, are threatening to confront the private security guards deployed to guard the land and vandalize the fence.
Kalulu, who is a land vendor linked to Patel, wants another private security company employed by Patel to be deployed in the same area, apparently to safeguard their interests.
Kampala advocate Innocent Ndiko Ngobi, who was the chairperson Jinja District Land Board, resigned in 2019 after learning that some unscrupulous officials and politicians forged and used her signature to allocate the land to another investor, Jay Thumar Mangalal Patel.