INDIAN INVESTOR DENIES MEETING PRESIDENT MUSEVENI OVER RIVER NILE LAND, MINISTERS BETTY AMONGI, EVELYNE ANITE AND BALYEKU KNOW WHY THEY USED MY NAMES
By Goodluck Musinguzi
Patel Thummar Jay Magnalal, 28 years denied ever working with Ministers in the government of Uganda plus a member of parliament to acquire 15 acres of land located at the banks of River Nile in Jinja District. Hon Grace Moses Balyeku only mentioned in passing about this land when we met President Museveni.
Thummar Patel Jay Magnalal aresident of Crested Crane Road, Jinja City responded to criminal summons to testify on subject land comprised in LRV 3852, Folio 22, plot 24b, Kyabazinga way measuring 5.535 hectares(15 acres), Jinja District.
President Yoweri Museveni called us to discuss other issues that never involved the above mentioned land. It happened that Hon Grace Moses Balyeku was attending the same meeting.
Commission: How did you come to own the contested land? Mr. Thummar: Hon. Balyeku approached me to set up a business mall in Jinja. I agreed to the idea as long as he got me land. Commission: Did you have any written understanding of the terms and conditions of the business? No.
Patel refused to take responsibility saying he knew Balyeku would get land from government as promised. After getting the land is when planning would commence.
Commission: whose land would it be when Hon. Balyeku secured it? Mr. Thummar: I imagined he was securing it from the Government. Commission: Did you pay any money? Mr. Thummar: No Commission: Hon. Balyeku mentioned a meeting with the president, did you attend it?
Mr. Thummar: Yes, I met the president with Hon. Balyeku but it was not in regard to the land, it was in regard to the shopping mall. Commission: Did you meet Hon. Betty Amongi concerning the land? Mr. Thummar: No, I met her in regard to setting up a shopping mall and not the land
Commission: There is a letter from Hon. Betty Amongi, are the contents in the letter true? Mr. Thummar: No, the contents are not true. I do not own a big hotel like the letter purports. Commission: Is the 2.4 billion paid out to different people your money? Mr. Thummar: No!
Commission: There is mention of a proposal that you wrote Mr. Thummar: No, I have never made a proposal to banks or the Government, the document must have been prepared by Hon. Balyeku. Commission: Do you take responsibility for the contents Mr. Thummar: No, I did not write it!
Commission: Do you have the original land title? Mr. Thummar: No, I only have the photocopy, Hon. Balyeku has the original. Commission: There are irregularities concerning the acquisition of this land yet it is your name on the documents, does that worry you? Yes.
Commission: was the money used to settle suits on the land your money? Mr. Thummar: No. Commission: The process in the issuance of this title is illegal and fraudulent, if it is canceled, will you object? Mr. Thummar: I am not sure, I will ask my lawyer.
Commission: Do you think it is likely Hon. Balyeku used your name? Did you do due diligence on the land? Mr. Thummar: No Commission: Were you getting feedback from Hon. Balyeku? Mr. Thummar: No Commission: shouldn’t one conclude your name was used? Yes.
Commission: Don’t you find it strange that Hon. Balyeku has invested in so far, 2.4 billion as he claims, you have not put in a coin or anything, yet your name is being fronted? Mr. Thummar: Yes, I find it strange.
Commission: Who initiated the idea of a shopping mall? Mr. Thummar: Hon. Balyeku Commission: How much did you plan to invest in the shopping mall? Mr. Thummar: I have not yet planned. Commission: Did you know that there is money involved in acquiring land? Mr. Thummar: No
The purported investor said he has no memory regarding the years he attended school in India. He was shocked when told he attended some school in Jinja.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire asked Patel to clear his name because he is being lied about the current investigation as not serious.
“The land probe commission was set up to investigate such irregularities that don’t favor investors be it foreign or local. We want the acquisition of land to be straight forward so that investments last long”.
Patel stunned the Land Probe Commission when asked about his different signatures put on his statement and the application of the land title. He replied;
“I signed the application for the land title while standing, at the land probe commission I was provided with a chair to sit on”.
The Commission asked him about his other business as to whether they are done with gentleman’s agreement, Patel said No.
“I make sure that there’s a memorandum of understanding spelling out the terms. With Balyeku he promised to provide land and we plan after”.
The Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into land matters directed Member of Parliament Jinja Municipality West, Moses Balyeku and his business partner Mr Thummar Mangalal Jay Patel to furnish details of their bank accounts to the commission to help in an on-going investigation in Plot 24B, Kyabazinga way in Jinja.
“Justice Bamugemereire made the directive after Mr Patel denied having facilitated the forgery of minutes of Jinja Land Board and Jinja District Council to award him the contested piece of land”.
Mr Harshdad Baroti the Proprietor of Turipati Development Uganda Limited dragged Jinja Municipal Council to the land commission, accusing it of giving land on which he owned a 25-year lease, to Mr Patel to build a shopping mall.