Property mogul Sudhir Rupaleria has over the months allegedly indulged in ‘a racist attack’ with the Katatumbas, particularly Rugiirwa Katumba, in a pretense of failed-loan-payment that the later took from Prime Finance Limited, owned by the Ruparelia Group.
The Katatumbas are however no joke too, and are reputed over their integrity and national service, themselves being moguls, diplomats, and of course, on top of Uganda’s business and music scenes. Need we mention Angella Katatumba?
The question however is whether this is really about a loan like Sudhir alleges, or could it be racism as this is not the first time Groups of Indian origin and business owners are involved in a case of this nature?
To make the case worse, Rupaleria locked up Rugiirwa Katatumba under allegations that his case was criminal, rather than civil, like the Katatumba’s lawyer revealed whilst reading his affidavit in court.
Could this be racism? Are Ugandans under attack?
Are the Ugandans of Indian origin going too far? Do they think they are better than Ugandans? That’s yours to ponder.
In Sudhir’s victim’s own voice, Rugiirwa Katatumba narrates his experience below
Sometime back towards the end of 2019, I borrowed 2 loans from Prime Finance Ltd on Crane Chambers.
Rajiv Ruparelia my friend asked me how my project Katatumba Village was going? I told him I was stuck and he offered to help me with a loan. I was very appreciative.
He asked me to call Bashir Seiko the Manager at Prime Finance Ltd. who handled both transactions.
So I borrowed 2 loans. One was for 50M. Me and my Fiancee used her Land title and paid back fully after 4 months 72.5M with 10% interest. I paid on the 31st March 2020 the day before the lockdown and the Title was returned.
Covid-19 and Lockdown
The second Loan.
I borrowed 35M, 15M and 10M making a Total of 60M and the Security was my Mercedes-Benz S-Class No. RUGIIRWA and 3 cheques for security purposes.
During the lockdown businesses were closed and I offered my Tenants at Katatumba Village 2 Months FREE rent as they were not working. So because of this and also the fact that I lost a few Tenants who were supposed to occupy the First floor which is not yet completed at Katatumba Village I struggled to clear the 60M.
So I have just paid 12M as I am also waiting for money from other sources to help me clear this loan hence the reason I have been arrested.
But our Family Lawyer Julius Turinawe of Turinawe and Kamba Advocates and family members and friends have been very instrumental in my release as the matter will now be concluded from Court.
But I have always made it very clear that I have 100% intentions of clearing my loan. I have attached some payment Receipts.
I have asked Prime Finance Ltd to also sell the Security, my Vehicle Mercedes-Benz to clear my loan to no avail.
My 1 day and night at Kitalya Min. Prison
From Buganda Road Court where I was summoned on Wednesday the 27th Jan after reading my case I was taken to Kitalya Prison on Remand.
Somehow I was a bit excited to experience Prison more so after watching movies and Series about Prisons etc
8 of us were bundled into a Police Van and whisked away at Break Neck speed on Mitiyana road up to Kitalya Prison.
On arrival I was impressed with the newly built premises, football, volleyball and basketball courts and very clean and welcoming Officers.
We were received given the famous Yellow Uniforms and taken to our Ward 4 Unit 3 where we were greeted as New inmates and joined 211 inmates to make 219. I remember because the numbers were written on the wall.
As we joined them I was lucky to be called by some VIP members to join their corner. I think my size sold me out as being one of them.
I have been totally impressed by the discipline of the prisoners and of their various ranks in each Ward from Chairman, Katikiro, RP, Police, RP Water, Doctor, RP Toilets…
These guys were so organised in how they managed their day to day lives at the Prison.
When the Guards enter our Ward to do “Fallen” where by all inmates squat 2 by 2 on the floor facing each other and then we are counted.
The guards would then ask the RP leaders who remained standing. Any complaints. I was amazed that the first complaint was from an inmate who said he didn’t eat lunch because he doesn’t eat sweet potatoes.
The 2nd complaint was from another inmate who joked that him he eats and doesn’t get satisfied and everyone burst out laughing…
Then the Doctor would mention those who were sick and needed medical attention.
So basically the rights of every inmate was listened to and taken seriously.
After that we relaxed some played cards, drafts etc in the Ward and Slept off around 8pm on mattresses and blankets.
The toilets were extremely clean. There were 4 toilets and 4 showers. The RP Toilet was responsible of cleaning the toilets as his assistant would hold the door to manage the numbers entering.
After the first night sleep the next morning was the same Fallen and then inmates would clean and organise the Ward and get ready for breakfast which was a very BIG bowl of porridge with no sugar.
Then we were free to mingle in the quardrangle and chat to other inmates.
There I met some high profile inmates from Nubian Li and Eddie Mutwe and their colleagues who were caught in “the struggle”. They were happy to talk to me and we discussed each other’s cases.
Nubian Li out of all the 2,000 or so inmates was the only person I saw wearing his Red mask from the time I arrived to the time I left. A very disciplined and focused young man.
Later when I got into the system I was taken by a friend an RP of some ward who has access to the whole Prison. I asked him to take me to see Kanyamunyu. I went to see him in the isolation wing. He was very happy to see me. We chatted.
All inmates ate a very Heavy Lunch which was boiled sweet potatoes and beans. The inmates would rash to form a queue to get food. Some VIPs would have some food cooked for them, pilau, matooke, meat, chicken etc.
There was also a TV room where by the main programme was Agataliko nfufu and Wrestling. I didn’t bother to enter as it was packed with inmates.
The same day my bail was being processed by my Lawyer Julius Turinawe and I was received, released and driven home.