The Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development has announced it will cancel the title deed of Namulonge land earlier given to tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia.
In a statement issued the ministry spokesperson, Dennis Obbo, late Friday, the ministry said it was influenced by media reports on the allocation of NARO land at Namulonge to Premier Roses Ltd.
“It is true that H.E the President directed the Minister in charge of Lands, Housing & Urban Development to consider allocating some of the land at Namulonge to flower growing by M/s Premier Roses Limited; Mrs. Bagalaliwo for tomato growth and processing and to ensure that adequate land is left over for the Research Station to continue doing that for which it was originally set up, that is research into cotton and pasture development.”
“He [Museveni] further made it clear that all the considered allocations should be on lease basis not exceeding forty-nine (49) years to avoid permanently alienating and losing this Government land.”
According to the ministry, the leases were to be accompanied by strict covenants, which would compel the investors to fulfil their part of the agreement, failure of which would lead to the loss of the leases.
The President’s directive was clearly communicated to the Controlling Authority of the land, that is, Uganda Land Commission (ULC) by the Minister Daudi Migereko, attaching a copy of the President’s letter to his guidance.
He asked the Chairman Uganda Land Commission to ensure that he engaged the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), NARO, M/s Premier Roses, and the Attorney General in order to come up with a Public Private Partnership agreement to be the basis of the lease agreement.
However, the ULC, in complete disregard of the President’s directive and Minister Daudi Migereko’s guidance went ahead and erroneously granted a lease of five (5) years, extendable to ninety-nine (99) years to M/s Premier Roses Ltd, clearly in contradiction to the President’s directive.
This was issued on the 22nd of June 2015 and the allocation was registered in LRV 4542 Folio 4 on Kyadondo Block 158 Plot 651 at Namulonge.
As pointed out above the allocation to M/s Premier Roses Limited of all the available land at Namulonge field station was in direct contradiction to the directive of the President which had clearly laid out three beneficials of the land.
There were no negotiations with the concerned Government institutions as was guided by the responsible Minister and there was, therefore, no specific and direct consent to the allocation by either NARO or its parent, MAAIF.
Obbo says the President’s directive was not couched as an order but a request to the Minister to “consider” allocating the Namulonge land to the interest he articulated in his letter referred to above.
“In this respect, the lease to Premier Roses Ltd for commercial agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, and educational purposes, should have been concluded with the involvement of the Ministries of Justice & Constitutional Affairs; Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; and NARO by way of an agreement.”
“It is, therefore, necessary that these events are rolled back and the President’s wishes as expressed in his letter in reference above are given face and force.”
Accordingly the Commissioner Land Registration has given notice to M/s Premier Roses Limited of the Registry’s intention to have the title issued over LRV 4542 Folio 4 on Kyadondo Block 158 Plot 651 at Namulonge cancelled.
He said a Technical Inter-ministerial Committee of the stakeholder government institutions has been set up to re-negotiate the desired terms and considerations with NARO to enable allocation to the proposed investors.
“This shall be commenced upon as soon as the title issued over the Namulonge Research Station lands is vacated and shall be handled expeditiously to ensure that the situation returns to normal and productive work continues in a harmonious manner.”