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Gen Otafiire named in island deal ‘gone bad’

A Dubai-based Ugandan businesswoman has accused Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire of grabbing her island in Lake Victoria.

Jane Ssenfuka and her daughter, Katrina Nanfuka, made the allegation in a petition filed with the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led Land commission of inquiry in May. They accused the minister of fraudulently acquiring Nyenda Island on block 64 plot 1 Kyaggwe Buvuma.

Measuring 196.68 hectares, the island is registered as a freehold land under the names of Janmer Investments Ltd in which Jane and Katrina are majority shareholders; each holding 49 shares while her husband, David Senfuka holds two shares.

 

Jane suspects that her husband connived with Otafiire, his long term business partner, to fraudulently change the island’s ownership.

“Sometime this year, we carried out a search at Mukono land office and found that the island had been transferred without our knowledge and authority from the names of our company into the names of Hon Kahinda Otafiire,” Jane’s petition partly reads.

Otafiire was allegedly contacted by Jane’s husband, David, to broker the sale of the island to some European investor who had promised to pay $10 million (Shs 38.5bn).

To Jane and her daughter’s surprise, before the transaction could be concluded, the title had changed names from Janmer investments Ltd to Kahinda Otafiire’s name, and later on transferred into the names of Evelyn Caroline Ankunda, a daughter to the minister.

“We have tried to get documents relating to this transaction from Mukono land office but we have failed to get the file. It is for the minister to explain how he acquired the island; whether he bought it or it was a gift, and, he should bring documents in support of his transaction,” Jane stated.

She was alerted by the disappearance of the land title from their Dubai home at Villa 30, Street 7, Spring 7. How the land title got into Otafiire’s hands is still a mystery.

David could have smuggled it out since he is the other person who had access to the safe where the title among other valuable documents were kept. The family bought the island on August 6, 2003 from Hajji Kasim Ramadhan of Bombo who had himself bought it from its first registered owner, Apollo Mukasa Kironde.

BAD DEAL

Interviewed, Otafiire told The Observer that this was a business transaction “gone bad.” “Have you ever heard of a business deal gone bad? That was a transaction that went bad,” Otafiire said without elaborating.

He, however, claimed to have acquired the island through proper procedures. “It was a transaction between me and a company called Janmer which is a legal entity. Companies can transact business through their representatives,” the minister said.

Otafiire said that he does not know Jane but admitted knowing David, her husband, with whom he made the transaction.

“If Jane Ssenfuka has any claims, she should claim against her husband not me. I paid my money to get that island; I transacted business with a company not individuals,” Otafiire said.

According to Jane, their company decided to sell the island in September 2017.

“Otafiire claims to hold powers of attorney but can’t explain who gave him the powers to act on behalf of the company because its three directors have never sat to agree to give him the powers of attorney,” Jane said.

sadabkk@observer.ug

Comments

+4 #1 WADADA rogers 2018-07-18 08:28
This is purely a family dispute although the minister should have carried out due diligence to determine the ownership of the company, certainly, a single share holder more so a minority cannot give a power of attorney in respect of assets of the company unless he had been issued with transferable powers of Attorney by Jane and Ketrina
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+6 #2 Odongkara 2018-07-18 09:27
OMG! Everything in Uganda from land to islands, mountains to beaches, forests to deserts, waters to air hold titles!!

I am asking along which street is the Gulu district air board office located in Gulu municipality? Don't tell me is in Bardege division.

I am worried that in a few years under NRM government Uganda will not have any public property.
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+2 #3 Jimmy Billy Ayuru 2018-07-18 13:11
I understand the Minister is someone who is aware of the law then how can he deal with a person yet the ownership was for a company, why not consult all the parties involve though it's a family issues like someone say,nthe minister is wrong let him show the documents with 3 signings.

To prove himself right.
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+1 #4 Ensi eno! 2018-07-18 16:45
Biggest land grabbers in Uganda? Kahinda O., Jim M, Sam K. K, ....

They have now transferred their looting genes to their of springs, how disgusting!!
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+1 #5 Fuller 2018-07-18 17:59
When I Googled the name of the major general, it came up as:

"...boasted of belonging to a calandestine group that dressed in UNLF uniform in the 1980s during Luwero Triangle civil war and indiscriminately murdered around Kampala as a tactic to discredit the then government..."

If true, then would swindling land not be second nature?
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+2 #6 rubangakene 2018-07-18 22:09
"Allegedly the whole minister in charge of justice has got his talons in this pot, unbelievable!"

Let's wait and see how this pans out. "Now we know Kayihura is pissing painlessly from prison like a leaking tap"
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+1 #7 Odongkara 2018-07-18 22:37
Quoting Jimmy Billy Ayuru:
I understand the Minister is someone who is aware of the law then how can he deal with a person yet the ownership was for a company, why not consult all the parties involve though it's a family issues like someone say,nthe minister is wrong let him show the documents with 3 signings.

To prove himself right.

One word only "FRAUD"
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0 #8 Lakwena 2018-07-20 10:27
In other words, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, is as unjust as injustice itself. And unconstitutional as treason itself.

Otherwise, what does it benefit a man and his daughter who already have more than they need in 3 life-time, to grab the whole world and lose their souls?

In other words, it is easier for an elephant (camel) to pass thru eye of a needle, than Gen Otafiire and his daughter, Caroline Ankunda to enter the Kingdom of God.
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