of Public Prosecutions-DPP has taken over the case against businessman Rajiv
Ruparelia who is accused of allegedly dumping soil in and on the shores of Lake
In a letter dated January 6, the DPP notified Entebbe Chief Magistrate's Court
of the move. State Attorney Timothy Amerit presented the letter before
Grade one Magistrate Elizabeth Kabugho on Wednesday when the case came up for
Amerit cited Article 120 of the 1995 Uganda Constitution which provides
powers to the DPP to take over proceedings initiated by individuals or other
authorities at any stage. The case was filed by lawyer Male Mabirizi last
However, Mabirizi has protested the move to take over the case, saying the DPP
wants to ‘kill’ the case.
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said he moved to initiate private prosecution proceedings against Rajiv Ruparelia as
a responsible citizen because NEMA and police would most likely not arrest or
charge him for dumping soil.
Rajiv Ruparelia of undertaking activities in the protected zones along
riverbanks, lakeshores, and natural beaches contrary to Section 53 of the National
Environment Act, 2019.
The same Act provides for penalties, whereby a person on conviction may pay a
fine not exceeding shillings 600 million or serve not more than 12 years
in jail or both.
Rajiv Ruparelia nor his lawyer was present in court on Wednesday.
Amerit and Mabirizi asked the judicial officer to issue criminal summons
against Rajiv. Mabirizi said it's unconstitutional to hear the case in Rajiv's
absence. Kabugho however did not pronounce herself on either issue. She instead adjourned
the case to February 21.
NEMA ordered Speke Hotel (1996) Limited to remove all the soil it has
dumped into Lake Victoria before it can be allowed to resume construction works
in Kitubulu, Katabi Town Council.
NEMA made the directive after meeting officials from Ruparelia Group which owns Speke
The authority noted that there were concerns of lakeshore degradation from
soil siltation into Lake Victoria, contrary to conditions of approval in the
Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Certificate issued to the
developer in 2020.
NEMA, Speke Hotel acquired a permit to build a hotel where Ssese Gateway Beach
was previously located with the condition of maintaining the buffer zone of
100metres as provided for in the Riverbanks and lakeshore use regulations,
2020. The hotel also applied for a permit to build a marina in the same place but
NEMA, in a tweet on December 12, says the application was denied.
Speke Hotel, according to Rajiv Ruparelia, its manager, wants to construct a
resort and convention centre on Lake Victoria shores in Kitubulu. The
project is currently at the stage of ground leveling and construction.
However, NEMA halted the project on December 10, after a video of trucks
dumping soil into the lake went viral on various social media platforms.