NSSF does not need 400 acres to build
Publication date: Sunday, 31st August, 2008
I wish to respond to Moses Byaruhanga’s comment in the Daily Monitor of August 18, 2008 titled, “NSSF land deal; what really is the price of land?” He wrote, “…Let us not criticize the land deal merely because the land was bought from a minister…” The NSSF earlier purchased 843 acres of land at Nsimbe, 20km along the Kampala-Masaka highway. Does Byaruhanga think the land was expensive? If not, why is tycoon Isabirye Mugoya (not a minister) in hot soup for acquiring it at sh8.2b? This price was discovered to have been inflated by sh4b. Minister Bakoko Bakoru fled Uganda because of this deal.
Even if the price for the Temanagalo land was okay, is this a ticket for the management to overlook the procedures and the role by other state actors in the land deal? The NSSF Act in Section 30 states that; “All monies in the fund, including the reserve account, which are not for the time being required to be applied for the purpose of the fund, shall be invested in such investments as may be determined by the board in consultation with the Minister.’’ Was the minister contacted or dissenting views within the board heard? We need to know the value Mbabazi attached to the land in his declaration of the wealth to the Inspector General of Government and compare the value with the price NSSF offered. We also need to know who contacted the other for selling. How can we justify selective bidding against competitive bidding? Even selective bidding is done through known bidders/dealers! Serious investors do not need a lot of land as a factor of production to build? Land as a factor of production in terms of modernization is no longer an issue. Bill Gates needed only a quarter of an acre or even less to make billions. NSSF does not need 300 acres to construct 5,000 or more units unless we fear sky scrappers.
If the NSSF officials are innocent as Byaruhanga seems to suggest let them and everybody involved, including Mbabazi, step aside (or be suspended) for an inquiry to commence. If found innocent they will resume office with higher esteem and if found guilt we should not wait for some to escape. Beyond that, any defense is the usual rhetoric from our leadership ! firstname.lastname@example.org.