President Museveni’s step-brother, Michael Nuwagira alias Toyota, has been named for having acted as a broker to Biras Properties that dubiously acquired government land on Plot 60/62 Alidina road in Jinja District.
Biras Managing Director Simpson Birungi told the Lands Inquiry Commission that Toyota told him about the lucrative government property in Jinja which he helped him to acquire within days at Shs2.5 million.
Birungi had previously asked not to reveal Toyota’s name in public but when cornered further, he seemingly forgot and mentioned Toyota as the lead broker. He had also named a one Ibanda as the broker.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire was armed with information to show that members of the first family and particularly Toyota was involved in influencing the process that eventually led to the demolition of a government building.
But Birungi still insisted that he had only gone for consultations with Toyota.
Birungi said he took over the building knowing that there were tenants but he did not discuss with them at the time he was taken to the building. He said two brokers asked him to be given a commission of Shs70 million for them to manage the process until when granted a lease offer.
Jinja Municipality had granted Uganda Land Commission a 99-year-lease for the property originally owned under the African Trade Development Fund (ATDF)
He said the letter of no objection was granted to him by the Ministry of Trade and Tourism within three days after meeting Toyota in Jinja.
Education Service Commission Undersecretary, Emmanuel Olauna Orum, formerly Undersecretary at the Tourism ministry on Wednesday told the Commission that he was under pressure from Major General Kahinda Otafiire to have him sign a letter of no-objection to Ministry of Lands.
Olauna told the Commission that he had been driven by Biras Properties agent who has turned out to be Toyota. The two made the trip on a public holiday outside work hours.
He declined to name Biras Properties Agent but revealed the name in camera.
Four police officers now on suspension over the same matter feared to reveal Toyota’s name when they appeared before the commission this week. A day later, Police Chief Kale Kayihura suspended them.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire wondered whether the tenants in the new building, constructed in the same spot where the demolished one stood, are not in danger to occupy a building whose occupation has not been approved.
Birungi began to soften his stance after Bamugemereire unloaded on him what seemed like well-prepared questions leading to his admission that Toyota abused the system with impunity.
Toyota has in the past been accused of perpetrating land grabbing in Buikwe District. He is currently being mentioned in another land wrangle involving tenants in Amber Court, Jinja in a bulding formerly owned by a power company located opposite Nalufenya Police.