The business community operating in the Kikuubo business center in down town Kampala has cited Nabugabo Updeal Joint Venture Company in a money scam.
Nabugabo Updeal Joint Venture which is owned by tycoon Godfrey Kirumira Kalule also the chairman of Kwangalana tycoon group, Abdul Musa Senyondo and Abdu Kayiwa Bukanso of Bukanso transport services which is tendered for cleaning the Kikuubo business lane is accused for conspiring with a section of leaders within their management to misappropriate hefty sums of money.
This has led to the endless wrangles within the Kikuubo business community.
According to available evidence, the Nabugabo Updeal Joint Venture charges traders according to the size of the building and the size of the business a trader has.
The traders say the charges are so exorbitant. At the end of the month the Company managers share the revenues collected in agreed amounts with the big-shots and a 14 member committee led by Hajj Mohamed Katimbo as its Chairperson.
It was confirmed that the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding after they disagreed on the sharing of the money collected in the money hub that the Kikuubo business area is.
After a number of altercations the Executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority advised the two sides to settle the issue amicably.
The two factions agreed to share the bounty equally. The 14 members of the Kikuubo Business Community limited also in turn share their portion according to the shares each holds which are said to be 70 shares for each one of them.
A sections of bitter Kikuubo traders under their umbrella group Kikuubo Traders, Special Hire and Porters Association (KTSPA) accuse the owners of Nabugabo Updeal Venture for using their workers to connive with Hajj Mohamed Katimbo and his group to brutalize them for being opposed to their clandestine corrupt tendencies especially the misappropriation of funds collected at gates from vehicles accessing the trading lane.
Against this background the Nabugabo Updeal workers are accused of destroying one of their fellow trader’s motor vehicle which was destroyed by putting salt into its engine.
The said vehicle an Isuzu lorry registration number UAE 017D belongs to businessman Moses Mutebi Zibulatudde.
The traders had used it to help collect garbage after Nabugabo Updeal services had proved ineffective with persistent delayed collection of refuse.
When the Nabugabo Updeal fellows showed up, they turned rowdy protesting why someone had interfered with their work.
The traders also accuse the Nabugabo Updeal workers of recently conniving with Hajj Katimbo to cause chaos in which it is alleged by Nabugabo Updeal that a one Justus Muhanguzi one of their workers was beaten to death in the consequent fracas.
When the Red Pepper contacted tycoon Godfrey Kalule Kirumira to get a comment on the matter, declined to comment but went further to say that he does not speak on behalf of the said company.
When pressed further, Kirumira referred our reporter to Abdul Musa Senyondo for comment.
On asking Musa Senyondo about the destroying of the vehicle belonging to business man Zibulatudde, he said that the traders had engaged in the role which was not theirs thus their workers (Nabugabo Updeal) had to intervene and defend their contract by all means necessary.
Senyondo went further to say that they also respond with violence to defend themselves whenever they are attacked by sections of traders while on duty.
He claimed that during the recent attack where they purportedly lost an employee in the violence, many of their workers were also battered and some are still nursing severe injuries.
Red Pepper did further investigation of the said murder by violence of the said Justus Muhanguzi.
From our investigation we found out that according to the post-mortem report conducted at City Mortuary at Mulago at the request of D/AIP Aggrey Mpamizo a police officer attached to Central police station Kampala, the deceased had no external injuries and that his head and skull bones were all normal.
There were no signs of violence on the body of the deceased.
The post mortem results by Dr David Alele conclude that the victim died of Tuberculosis after he was found with pale and collapsed cerebral vessels; findings that are consistent with deaths caused by Tuberculosis.
Jonathan Mafende, the Chairperson KSPA said that Kikuubo Business Community Limited which is owned by 14 people is not an association to help solve the traders’ issues saying that it only collects money from traders forcefully without paying attention to most of the traders’ problems even the ones they are supposed to be in charge of addressing.
According to him, Kikuubo is in dire straits, there are no toilets for the traders, no functioning security lights at night.
He says a worrying number of traders has lost their property to thugs who break into their shops during the night with the help of the darkness.
The traders further accused the area police for being part of this huge wave of connivance and complicity especially in the way police reacts to their demands of accountability from Nabugabo Updeal and Kikuubo Business Community Limited. He says that
Whenever the Nabugabo Updeal cleaners terrorise them, the police simply just keep looking on as they are harassed.
“In an event that we defend ourselves, that is when the police intervene and instead defend the aggressors leaving us the victims more victimised,” said Mafende.
According to Mafende, the Kikuubo Business Community Limited collects Ushs 120M (One Hundred Twenty Million) every month from the forceful gate collections they subject every vehicle that accesses the Kikuubo shopping area adding that they charge from Ushs 5000/= and above.
This is the money they dole out amongst themselves as the shareholders of the company.
The traders said that because of pressure and very violent way the money charged from their customers is collected, this has scared away a big number of their customers.
Most of them question why they have to pay so much money just to have their merchandise loaded on the trucks and most of their clients they say have been blacklisted and stopped from accessing the Kikuubo and others have had their vehicles clamped and held at ransom for them to clear inexplicable fines.
Hajj Muhamed Katimbo accuses Mafende of brining disintegration and sowing discord within the traders. He defended himself as the elected leader of the Kikuubo traders.
These constant altercations between the disorganised and dissatisfied factions and the constant violence prompted the Inspector General of Police to recently summon Katimbo and Mafende to the police headquarters in Naguru where he urged them to unite and end their long time hostility.