By Our reporter
City Property mogul Dr.Sudhir Ruparelia Thursday defended himself before the Land Probe Commission over accusations by Kololo Senior Secondary School that he grabbed their sports field along Lugogo bypass in Kampala, close to where his Kampala Parents Primary School is located
Dr.Sudhir told the commission chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereirwe that he took the move to pursue this land after discovering that Kololo SSS was in talks with a Company called DMark to develop the playing field yet Kampala Parents School and other neighbouring communities were using it for recreation purposes.
Sudhir said Kololo SSS ought to have consulted them so they enter a Public Private Partnership to retain that place as a playing field rather than giving it to another developer.
When asked why he did not consult Kololo which had more rights on the land, he said it was up to Uganda Land Commission which gave him the lease in 2013, to inform them. Sudhir, an old boy of Kololo SSS, revealed that he paid sh120 million for the six acres where the sports field is.
The commissioners maintained that right procedures were not followed when the tycoon deprived Kololo SSS of its land, they have owned since 1954 and located on plots 60-68 along Lugogo by Pass in Kampala. Sudhir told the commission that in case of any errors in the acquisition of the land, the law should take its course.
The commissioners also questioned the circumstances under which he got an extension of a 99-year lease in January 2014, five months after getting a five-year old lease in October 2013. Sudhir also admitted before the Land Probe Commission that by the time he applied for this land he wasn’t a sitting tenant at Kololo SSS sports field. A day earlier, the Chairman Academics, Welfare and Disciplinary Committee of Kololo Senior Secondary School, Reverend Canon John Awodi accused Sudhir’s Kampala Parents Primary School of grabbing their Land.
Canon Awodi said without their knowledge and consent, on March 12, 2013 Sudhir Ruparelia wrote to Uganda Land Commission applying for their land claiming he was the sitting tenant, having used it for seven years for his school’s recreation purposes.
Canon Awodi instead presented before the Commission two letters indicating that between January 05, 2011 and March 21, 2012 Sudhir’s Kampala Parents School had been hiring their field for recreation purposes, at sh200,000 for maintenance.
Sudhir Acquired Land legally:
Documents presented before the commission showed that Sudhir was cleared by all relevant authorities to acquire the said property. The authorities which cleared Sudhir’s transaction to have Kololo SS sports’ ground developed include Uganda Land Commission (ULC) which is the custodian of government land, the then minister in charge of Kampala and the presidency, Frank Tumwebaze, the Solicitor general who is the chief government legal advisor as well as Kampala Capital Authority (KCCA) which runs the city as well the government land registry.
Now, after the school administration admitted that almost all the relevant authorities cleared tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia’s acquisition of part of the school’s land, members of the commission of inquiry advised that the two parties should sit and see how to use the intended recreation facility together.