By Mable Nakibuuka
Former Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba is caught in a scandal that involves the battle for property on one hand and a war over outgoing Member of Parliament Nabilah Naggayi.
Prof. Baryamureeba, who says he has been a very personal friend of Nabilah for a long time, claims that he lent her money to the tune of over Shs450m in 2012 and 2015 to offset a loan her husband Isaac Ssempala had acquired at Equity Bank and later added her more money, Shs400m to buy a property a property in Canada.
Baryamureeba says that Nabilah approached him for the cash bailout after agreeing with her husband Isaac Ssempala that in the event that they fail to refund the money, they would forfeit their residential home located on Plot 5, Block 273, Katuso Close, Konge, Buziga
However, although Ssempala has since refuted Baryamureeba’s allegations, asserting that he has never entered into a loan agreement with either him or Nabilah, or instructed her to seek a loan from him on his behalf, his wife contends that what the professor is saying is true, to the best of her knowledge.
Baryamureeba instructed his lawyers of Agaba Muhairwe and Co. Advocates to distress the property, saying that Ssempala had mortgaged the property under leasehold register 4004 Folio 8 to him and had signed a Mortgagor’s Consent for the same property which had been put up for auction by Equity Bank.
Nabilah wrote a letter to Agaba Muhairwe and Company Advocates on February 24th, 2021 confirming Baryamureeba’s claims.
She said that when Equity Bank insisted on auctioning their home, she then approached Baryamureeba,a family friend, on February 13th, 2013 to clear Ssempala’s loan so as to save the house.
“The debt and other costs related to the bank were met by your client,”Nabilah says in her letter to Baryamureeba’s lawyers.
She adds that “I also learnt that my husband at the same time had an outstanding loan facility at Pesa Finance Limited where he had defaulted payment. Therefore we agreed as a family to go to Prof. Baryamureeba for a friendly loan of Sh450m to settle my husband’s indebtedness to Equity Bank and Pesa Finance Ltd and also for modification. After discussing with my husband, I signed the friendly loan agreement of Shs450M on March 1st, 2013.
Nabilah also said in her letter that two years later, in 2015, on behalf of her family, she signed a second friendly agreement of Shs400m and secured it with the same property under Leasehold Register Volume 400 Folio 8, whose title was already in his possession after that, he transferred the money to her husband Ssempala.
She says Ssempala was to use the said money to pay for another property in Canada, where she was to relocate with her family.
However, on January 30th, 2020, the day she was supposed to have paid loan, Nabilah says she only managed to deposit Shs50m, and failed to clear a balance of Shs800m.
Her failure to complete the loan prompted Baryamureeba to instruct his lawyers to evicts Ssempala and his family from the house such that he can have vacant possession of the same and gave him until March 1st, 2021 to vacate it.
But Ssempala vehemently refutes Baryamureeba’s claims, arguing that whatever dealings he had with Nabilah were personal and should be kept at that level without involving his property.
Baryamureeba-Nabilah Secret Friendship
It is said that Nabilah and Baryamureeba have been close family friends for years although over time they became too close for comfort.
Pals intimate ever since he came into their lives things have never been the same the couple, to the extent that their marriage hit rocks.
Whereas Ssempala is in Canada, Nabilah remained in Kampala at the house which her Family Friend Baryamureeba wants to take over.
But insiders reveal that there could be a plot being hatched by the two to tactfully kick Ssempala out of the crib, such that they can occupy it and enjoy life without fear or favour to anybody.
Prof. Baryamureeba Speaks Out
Following the scandal that has since gone viral in the media, Baryamureeba has since issued a statement about the matter and here is what he says;
“𝗙𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗦 𝗦𝗨𝗥𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗗𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗔𝗠𝗕𝗘𝗥𝗘𝗗 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗧𝗬 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗕𝗘𝗟𝗢𝗡𝗚𝗘𝗗 𝗧𝗢 𝗛𝗢𝗡. 𝗡𝗔𝗚𝗚𝗔𝗬𝗜 𝗡𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗟𝗔𝗛 𝗦𝗘𝗠𝗣𝗔𝗟𝗔 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗠𝗥. 𝗜𝗦𝗔𝗔𝗖 𝗦𝗘𝗠𝗣𝗔𝗟𝗔 𝗦𝗦𝗘𝗕𝗔𝗚𝗔𝗟𝗔
I had hoped that the issues surrounding the property, Leasehold Register Volume 4004 Folio 8 situated in Kyadondo Block 273 Plot 5 Katuso Close at Katuso in Kampala District, would be resolved legally / amicably but since my name (Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba) has been dragged into the public domain through the media, I am compelled to provide answers to the public through the same media.
I came to know Hon. Nabilah Naggayi Sempala in 2005 when she had come to Hon. Bidandi Ssali’s place in Kiwatule as President of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and I was President of National Progressive Movement (NPM) that later turned into Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). She then introduced me to her husband who was a dealer in Kampala. So in 2006, they both approached me and I agreed to provide support to Hon. Naggayi’s parliamentary campaign. As I came to know them better, I discovered that Mr. Sempala had no stable income and was always using the above house to secure loans and at times sell family property to get money. Before 2010, Mr. Ssempala had gotten more than four (4) loans on the above property, some allegedly from his own brother Mr. Farouk Ntegge, which Hon. Nabilah had to clear.
In 2011, Hon. Nabilah’s bid for Kampala woman member parliament cost her a lot of money that she had to get loans after elections from Bank of Africa and Housing Finance (U) Ltd to clear most of the loans she had gotten from money lenders / loan sharks.
Also by 2012, Mr. Sempala had outstanding loans from Equity Bank (U) Ltd, Pesa Finance Ltd and several money lenders / loan sharks and when the money lenders / loan sharks wanted him arrested he escaped from the country and ended up in Kansas City, Missouri in the United States.
On 20th August 2010, Mr. Sempala signed a mortgagor’s approval and consent drawn by M/s Tibeingana and Co. Advocates in favour of Equity Bank (U) Ltd to sell the above property if he defaulted. In February 2013, Equity Bank (U) Ltd through Sekabanja and Co. Advocates advertised the property, Leasehold Register Volume 4004 Folio 8 situated in Kyadondo Block 273 Plot 5 Katuso Close at Katuso in Kampala District, in print media to recover the loan for which Mr. Sempala had defaulted.
Hon. Nabilah approached me as a family friend to intervene and save their property and I caused a meeting on 13th February 2013 with Equity Bank (U) Ltd management. At this meeting, the Equity Bank (U) Ltd management agreed to pause the sell by two weeks within which Mr. Sempala and Hon. Nabilah should have gotten the money and repaid the loan and other associated costs since the bank had already engaged a firm to sale the property. Immediately after the meeting, I talked to Mr. Sempala on Hon. Nabilah’s phone and made it clear to him that they needed to find the money within two weeks otherwise their property would be put on sell again.
By 26th February 2013, they had not gotten the money and I received an email from a one Ms. Sandra Mbabali, the then Head of Consumer Credit , Equity Bank (U) Ltd reminding me and Hon. Nabilah that the sale of the property had been exceptionally halted to enable Hon. Nabilah and Mr. Sempala redeem the property despite the many bids they had received. I did respond to her email on the same day but at the same time I asked Hon. Nabilah to arrange a phone call with her husband who was in the United States and when we talked on Hon. Nabilah’s phone, I made it clear to him that since they had failed to raise the money and two of their properties were up for sale by Equity bank (U) Ltd and Pesa Finance Ltd, I would provide them with a friendly loan of UGX 450 Million on condition that he writes to Equity Bank (U) Ltd to release the title to his wife Hon. Nabilah once the outstanding loan was cleared and at the same time he signs open ended transfer forms. He did write to Equity Bank on 27th February 2013 and also sent the transfer forms to Hon. Nabilah by courier. So on 1st March 2021, at 23.56pm I did send an email to Equity Bank (U) Ltd informing them that I had given Hon. Nabilah UGX 50 Million and she had deposited it on Equity Bank (U) Ltd Loan account at 5.15pm. This was after Hon. Nabilah on behalf of her family had entered into a loan agreement of UGX 450 Million witnessed by my lawyer and her lawyer with a condition that upon execution of the loan agreement, the borrower hereby acknowledges receipt of the 1st tranche of UGX 50 Million and the 2nd tranche of 400Million would be released upon the discharge of mortgage on LVR 4004 Folio 8 situated in Kyadondo Block 273 Plot 5 Katuso Close at Katuso in Kampala District to me. The friendly loan was for 8 years and the last date of repayment was 1st March 2021.
Before they could pay any instalment on the above loan of UGX 450 Million they asked me for a 2nd loan of UGX 400 Million to acquire a home in Canada where they had relocated the family. This was after I had announced my plans to run for President of Uganda in May 2015. I demanded that I get details of the property they wanted to acquire and Mr. Sempala on 1st June 2015 provided the details of the property to Hon. Nabilah as a property at EDMONTON A-B T5Y 3B7, 4607-152 AVENUE, CANADA.
I asked my lawyer to draft a second loan agreement against the same title in my possession, which agreement was signed on 2nd June 2015 and witnessed by my lawyer and her lawyer. The last date for payment of this loan was also 1st March 2021. Mr. Sempala had already given Nabilah the account details in Canada and she transferred the money to him immediately after receiving it on 2nd June 2015. This brought the loan to UGX 850 Million. The property in Canada is in Mr. Isaac Sempala’s name and is being used as a family home. On 30th January 2020, Hon. Nabilah managed to pay UGX 50 Million leaving the balance at 800 Million.
Mr. Sempala, a Canadian citizen, came to Uganda and got a national ID, registered as a voter without applying for duo citizenship. He illegally voted on 14th January 2021 for Presidential and Parliamentary elections. For him committing fraud and defrauding people of their money is the order of the day.
When Mr. Sempala returned to Uganda in October 2020 for the burial of his late brother Haj. Ntege Ssebagala, he secretly put a caveat on the property without my notice in November 2020. When Hon. Nabilah lost the Kampala City mayoral race, their chances of redeeming the property dwindled since he (Mr. Sempala) is just a dealer without any source of income. Instead of him and Hon. Nabilah approaching me and negotiating new terms, he has been misadvised to claim that he is not party to the loans. I have all the evidence and I have instructed my lawyers to proceed as per the loan agreements which provided for “failure to pay the loans by 1st March 2021, the lender shall possess the property and evict any occupants therein or dispose of the same in order to recover the amount due.”
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