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“Sir, we are on our knees, we’ll leave”: NRM chief begs Jinja investor  

As can be recalled, Keshwala had dragged some tenants, including NRM to the courts of law for refusing to vacate the building and denying him revenue through rent.
NRM

One of the buildings in the centre of controversy and housing NRM in Jinja. File/Photo by Nelly Otto.

Last Updated on: 26th November 2022, 04:04 pm

“Please forgive us our trespasses for only three months, we shall vacate your building,” NRM has turned beggars.


 By Nelly Otto

Jinja – November 26, 2022: The widely held fear among some NRM leaders and supporters in Jinja that the party offices could be taken by one of the prominent investors is now a reality, thanks to the party bosses at Kyadondo headquarters in Kampala.

The office situated on a building along Plot 21 Lubas Road (LRV 232 FOLIO 21) has been under threats of eviction by a billionaire investor identified as Viram Ranmal Keshwala who has reportedly bought the facility at a giveaway price.

The property has been under contention by some stakeholders who claim the deal was shoddy and facilitated by some rogue individuals who do not have the party at heart.

This prompted some NRM supporters to petition Kyadondo to rescue the ruling party from embarrassment at a time when opposition NUP is making in-roads in the once NRM stronghold.

However, the story is different now because NRM will be allowed to celebrate next year’s Valentine only then leave immediately for the new owner to redevelop the building and add value to the City currently headed by NUP’s Alton Peter Kasolo Okocha.

“…it has been agreed that our Jinja NRM offices located at the above- named premises will be moved from the said premises…we request three months from the date hereof to vacate the said premises in order to relocate to alternative premises in an orderly fashion…,” reads part of the letter from Kyadondo.

The letter dated November 17, 2022 was signed by the powerful NRM Secretary General (SG) Richard Todwong and addressed to Keshwala Ranmal Viram, the powerful investor who is now smiling from mouth to ear.

It’s not yet clear where the NRM will relocate but sources had indicated that the Jinja District NRM chairman Nathan Samson Igeme Nabeta who is also the MP of Jinja South was willing to accommodate the party in the interim in one of his properties.

 A section of NRM activists is shocked that Todwong can utter such a letter which they described as ‘vague and compromised’ after furnishing his office with the entire relevant documentary evidence that the building belongs to the government.

The group is now planning to occupy all the rooms of the building and ready to face off with any persons including the police who will dare them with a forceful eviction.

“…we are ready for anything including riot should they risk any attempt to use force and money as usual to take this government property which we have been paying rent…,” the group members threatened.

As can be recalled, Keshwala had dragged some tenants, including NRM to the courts of law for refusing to vacate the building and denying him revenue through rent.

 “…the plaintiff further contends that the actions of the defendants have caused him inconvenience, psychological torture, lost income of over 600,000/= per house unit each month being collected rent…,” reads in part a suit by Keshwala.

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In his July 25, 2022 civil suit No. 41 at the Jinja Magistrate Court through Jinja based lawyer M/s Okalang Law Chambers, Keshwala dragged 22 pro-NRM families to the courts of law.

Before death cut his life short, the then NRM General Secretary of Jinja William Kato Kaziba had expressed fear this could undermine their mobilization efforts of residents towards government programmes.

On claims that some party bigwigs connived to donate the building to the investor, Kato could not confirm nor deny but says they are also trying to dig deeper into the matter.

The then Jinja City Resident Commissioner (RCC) Kyeyune Ssenyonjo who was zealously safeguarding the building got the shock of his life when he was suddenly transferred.

Kyeyune had indicated that the subsequent RCCs who would come after him would ensure the building, a property of the government through DAPCB, is not grabbed by any individual.

 Background

 Investigations carried out by this reporter corroborated with a Uganda Police Force probe indicating that the property in question is a dilapidated structure originally belonging to a company known as Narandas Rajaram and Company Africa Ltd.

The two other properties that also belonged to the same company are Plot 20 Lubas Road and Plot 9 Portal Avenue in Kampala.

Records available indicate that the company had the following five persons as directors: Ashock Vardhan Birlali, Vimal Nayan Nevatia, Bipin Ambalal Shah, Anil Vaikkunthlal Clerk and Jayantilal C .Saraiya

Before the current deal displayed its face, the property was under the management of M/s S.N Gandesha &Company Advocates with its offices situated on Iganga Road. The man behind the law firm has since disappeared after it emerged that he was also another big time KIWANI.

Who Is Keshwala?

Keshwala is a prominent businessman of Asian origin with a multi-billion business complex known as Keshwala Group of Company located in Masese, Walukuba in Jinja City.

Little is known about his life but many know him as an introvert who focuses more on his business and business associates than taking time to have fun with peers in public places.

He is the son of late business guru Viram Giga Keshwala (1932-2005) who founded Keshwala Group of Companies in Jinja. Giga Keshwala came to Uganda in 1952 and settled in a sugar cane plantation in Bugiri where he worked in a Sikh Saw Mill.

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