Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has appeared before the Land Inquiry Commission headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire and said that he intends to put up a modern sports facility in the Kololo SS sports ground as his lease acquired from the Uganda Land Commission stipulates.
Some of the commissioners were wary that being a property developer, Sudhir would put up a commercial development.
“I have no intention of putting up a commercial property. The lease and the title very clearly state that it’s for a playing field,” he said.
The facility upon completion is expected to be among the best in East Africa.
The businessman informed the commission that he used the right channels to acquire the lease from the Uganda Land Commission adding that other government bodies didn’t object. “I got a letter of No Objection from the Ministry of Education and Sports and a letter of No Objection from Kampala Capital City Authority,” he told the commission.
Justice Bamugemerire wondered why Kololo SS had not been involved in the process of Sudhir’s acquisition of the land.
The property magnate told the commission that the land belonged to the Uganda Land Commission not the school, and that he had information that Kololo SS wanted to give away the six-acre piece of land to a D-Mark, a company that had plans for commercial developments on the land.
“This was the only piece of land left for our children to play and I had to ensure that the land is used for what it was meant for,” he said.
Already part of the Kololo SS land has been given away to developers like Nanjing Hotel and Kensington Properties.
The businessman also refuted claims that he was going to use the land to build classroom blocks and expand his Kampala Parents School. “Government earmarked this particular piece of land for a sports ground,” he said.
Part of the fear was that Kololo SS would be locked out of the facility with priority going to Sudhir’s Kampala Parent’s School but the commission was informed that he had no intention of monopolising it and Kololo SS would utilise the facility and they are protected in the Memorandum of Understanding.
“Let them register the MoU as a caveat against abuse of their rights reflected in the MoU itself,” Sudhir said.
Meanwhile, the commission produced a land title of Plot 62-68 on Lugogo Bypass in the names of Kololo SS, purportedly of the said but Sudhir noted that the land he is developing is on plot 8-12 on a different street.
The businessman noted that kick starting the developments had been hampered by bickering among various stakeholders but works had commenced.
“I am going to build the sports facility for the benefit of Ugandans present and those who will come after them. The facility will stay even after everyone here and even I, have died,” he said.
Sudhir said he was willing to allow the law to take its’ course in case the commission found irregularities in the way he acquired the land.