Minister Ngobi quizzed over Shs5m bribe  

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Fred Ngobi Gume

State Minister for cooperatives, Fredrick Ngobi Gume, was on Tuesday thoroughly grilled by the Commission of Inquiry into land matters for his involvement in the sale of government land in Jinja district.

Last week, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Jinja district, Moses Magemeso, told the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led commission that Ngobi, the former LC5 chairperson of Jinja district and MP Bulamogi North West county, is to blame for the grabbed 20 acres of land belonging to Uganda Land Commission.

The said plot was leased to the National Fisheries Research Institute and later fraudulently sold to an Indian.

David Pande, the senior surveyor of this land, sold it to an Indian at Shs160 million.

Magemeso, who was the former Secretary district land board for Jinja, told the commission that the then district LC5 chairman [Ngobi] and district land board chairman connived to process a lease title to be given to the Indian.

Victoria University

Ngobi is accused of receiving a Shs5m bribe to influence the transaction.

The survey was done around the time when Ngobi also served as chairperson board of governors at the same technical institute.

The land was later given out to Haresh, the Managing Director of Favourite Enterprises on a 99-year lease, contrary to the constitution and the Land Act as amended.

The investor, on Monday handed to the commission vouchers the cheque drawn in Ngobi’s names but picked by David Pande, the surveyor implicated in the same deal.

The vouchers indicated that the money, drawn by Favourite Enterprises Ltd and deposited on Ngobi’s account in Crane Bank but the minister says the money was not a bribe.

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