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Estates Dealer Warren Mwesigye Pinned in UGX 2Bn Land Compensation Scam

Legislators on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises – COSASE accuse the proprietor of Cofa Limited of possible conspiracy with Lubega & Buzibira Company Advocates in the fraudulent compensation claim.
City businessman Warren Mwesigye (R) responding to queries from MPs at Parliament. Photo by Dominic Ochola_URN

Audio 4

Businessman Warren Mwesigye is once again in trouble for his alleged involvement in the purchase of Natalia Namuli’s Shillings 2.039 billion compensation claim from the Uganda Land Commission–ULC. 

Legislators on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises – COSASE accuse the proprietor of Cofa Limited of possible conspiracy with Lubega & Buzibira Company Advocates in the fraudulent compensation claim.

While appearing before the Committee Wednesday, Mwesigye revealed that on July 21st, 2020, he met Peter Amara together with his mother-in-law Natalia Namuli, 79, at the National Theatre in Kampala following an earlier phone conversation about a land deal.

According to Mwesigye, after hearing the proposal, they approached lawyer Richard Buzibira for negotiations and signed an agreement to buy Namuli’s claim at Shillings 318.750 million.

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The businessman also disclosed that he requested more time and on July 25th, 2022 he delivered the money in cash to the law firm. He explained that Amara witnessed the transaction and even counted the money, which was in 50,000 notes.

Amara disputed the claims. While agreeing to append his signature on the agreement, Amara told the Committee that money did not exchange hands at the time. He also denied meeting Mwesigye at the National Theatre.

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The Committee Chairperson, Joel Ssenyonyi tasked Mwesigye to substantiate his claims because, in the agreement, he (Mwesigye) bought the 518 hectares of land from Namuli and not the claims, which were already before ULC.

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In his response, Mwesigye explained that his motivation as a businessman was to buy the claims and not the land. His response provoked more inquiries from the MPs. They asked Mwesigye why he rushed to mobilize the funds within four days to compensate Namuli without verifying documents for the land in question.

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To get to the bottom of the matter, Elija Okupa, the Kasilo County member of parliament proposed that the witnesses including Amara, lawyers Lubega and Buzibira submit bank statements, and telephone printouts spanning January 2020 to date for further scrutiny.

Ssenyonyi adjourned the meeting with a four-hour ultimatum for the witnesses to submit the said documents to help the Committee with further investigations. The Committee also resolved to write to the landlord of the Social Security Fund Building that houses the law firm to provide CCTV footage between July 21st -  25th, 2020.

In May 2018, Mwesigye was implicated by the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire land commission for allegedly receiving Shillings 13 billion from the Land Fund fraudulently.

The Commission revealed that Mwesigye purchased the 5 square miles in 2015 from different people at Shillings 500 million in the Kibaale district and connived with lawyer Buzibira to purchase the land, which he later sold to the Government and received 13 billion Shillings.