When Uganda Investment Authority cheated Tirupati out of Namanve Industrial Park land deal

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When Uganda Investment Authority cheated Tirupati out of Namanve Industrial Park land deal

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is by law mandated with promoting investment opportunities in Uganda. The investment agency is also mandated with

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Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is by law mandated with promoting investment opportunities in Uganda. The investment agency is also mandated with facilitating local and international investors achieve their business goals.

However, Uganda Investment Authority seems to be doing the opposite of what it was established for – frustrating local investors and stealing their money in dubious land deals, at least this is what one reads from the recent ruling by the High Court in Mukono.

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The High Court in Mukono has ruled that in refusing to give land titles of two plots of land located in Namanve Industrial Park that it had leased to Tirupati Development (U) Ltd, Uganda Investment Authority breached a contract and must compensate the plaintiff and pay for damages.

After years of begging for land titles, Tirupati ran to court to have the matter dealt with lawfully. A case, Civil Suit No. 335 of 2021 in the High Court of Uganda at Mukono, was registered and on 21st July 2023, Justice Florence Nakachwa delivered a judgment that exposed Uganda Investment Authority and its bad dealings.

According to the ruling, in 2008, Tirupati applied for the allocation of land from Uganda Investment Authority and the request was granted in 2011. And in the letter dated 26th June 2012, Uganda Investment Authority gave Tirupati an invoice requesting payment to which they obliged and paid the required amount.

Tirupati (the plaintiff) got leases for land comprised in Kyagwe Block 113 Plots No. A019 and A020 are situated at Namanve – Kiwanga-Mawutu, Nantabulirwa, Goma Division, Mukono Municipality, Mukono district measuring approximately 1.5 acres and 10 acres respectively.

During the court proceeding, the court learnt that the land is now registered as Kyaggwe Block 113 Plots 3695, 3736 in the names of Creston Properties Limited. Court also learnt that an initial lease agreement was signed between Uganda Investment Authority and Creston Properties Limited on 22/8/2014 and a 49 lease agreement signed on 26th June 2020.

In 2014, Tirupati was denied access to the land for which he had surveyed and acquired an Environment Impact Assessment certificate from National Environment Management Authority. Uganda Investment Authority, the court heard, instructed its agents not to allow the Tirupati access to the land.

Because of this, Tirupati’s efforts to develop the land were futile and hindered. Tirupati argued in court that Uganda Investment Authority’s actions, Tirupati has lost business and money invested in the project and suffered huge inconveniences and income that would have been earned.

Justice Nakachwa based on the evidence presented in court stated that Uganda Investment Authority’s refusal to hand over the land title to the plaintiff to enable it to have its name registered as the leasehold owner of the land means the defendant defaulted in fulfilling its obligation under the lease agreement.

This failure has deprived the plaintiff of its leasehold ownership of the suit land and thus putting the plaintiff’s activities on the suit land at a standstill, Justice Nakachwa wrote in the ruling.

“In my judgment, the defendant’s actions clearly amount to a breach of contract to which the defendant must be held liable. The plaintiff has proved to the satisfaction of the court that it validly entered into a lease agreement with the defendant which has been breached by the defendant,” she said.

Adding: “In the instant case, the plaintiff being the successful party is entitled to the costs of the suit. Having found both issues in the plaintiff’s favour, judgment is hereby entered for the plaintiff and I hold that the defendant is in breach of the lease agreement between it and the plaintiff,”

According to the ruling, the defendant neither filled its written statement of defence nor entered a physical appearance in court despite effective service of the court process.


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