KAMPALA – The State Minister for Kampala Affairs Kabuye Kyofatogabye commended city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia for developing a a sports facilities project at the Kololo SS playground that was in the interest of the community.
Mr Kabuye, while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure on Wednesday March 16, which is inquiring into the sale of the Kololo SS land that has become a contentious issue, said that by developing an ultra modern stadium, Mr. Sudhir’s project was to “great benefit to the wider community of Naguru and Kampala city”.
The minister said the city tycoon had gotten proper authorisation for the project and there were no contradictions.
Mr Kabuye told MPs that that it was a good move for the community when Sudhir secured the playground because land in the area was being sold at a fast rate and space for play in the neighbourhood where he owns schools, was shrinking day by day.
Kololo SS playground was also in the process of disappearing in thin air when Mr. Ruparelia who owns the neighbouring Kampala Parents School moved to secure it, obtaining relevant authorization from Lands ministry, the minister indicated.
It is understood that several city land grabbers, interested in the land were putting pressure on authorities to stop Sudhir’s plans to develop a modern stadium with play grounds and sports amenities that would not only serve his schools community but also the Kampala population.
Complaints that Kololo S.S had been denied access to its playground, while Kampala Parents School uses it, have since been dismissed as calculated propaganda, aimed at stopping the development, since Sudhir wants to first develop this ground before it is opened to the public.
MPs have now summoned summoned the Attorney General to explain the alleged sale of Kololo S.S land to private investors.
Previously Mr. Sudhir told the Commission of Inquiry into land matters to enforce the law in regard to the questionable acquisition of a playground belonging to Kololo SS by Kampala Parents School 2014, that he followed the legal procedures provided for acquisition of a lease with guidance from the Uganda Land commission (ULC) which is the body holding trust for the land in dispute.
“In 2013, we learnt about an ongoing move between Kololo SS and a company in Denmark entering a joint venture for commercial developments. I got concerned that we were going to lose a play field which we were using as a school and I contacted my lawyers to find out the exact owner of the land comprised of the playground and they advised that it belongs to ULC,” said Mr Sudhir, admitting that the lease title acquired by Kampala Parents is restricted to the Ministry of Education and Sports (Kololo SS).
Mr Sudhir defended ownership of the land on Plot 60 to 69, Lugogo Bypass in Nakawa Division saying he plans to establish a modern sports facility.
He holds that Kampala Parents School’s 2014 lease cannot be queried yet ULC holds a freehold title and reversionary powers over the land because they are restricted to only develop a sports facility.
By the time Sudhir came in to secure the playground, the entire school land had been parcelled, titled and allocated to 15 other developers including Chinese Hotel called Nanjing and housing estate Kensington Africa Limited among others.
“I applied through the normal procedure and it was within the powers of ULC to grant the lease and our intention is to establish a world class facility because of the requirements like power, water and sanitation as well as human resource,” he added, dismissing allegations that he is set to establish a commercial complex.