Charles Muhangi never wanted his prime properties in Kampala sold and looked forward to fighting harder to keep his rival Drake Lubega at bay, leaked messages have shown.
“I defeated them (rivals) hands down. That’s why they are now running to the president,” said Muhangi, according to a WhatsApp message exchange with Ms Anne Mugisha, the mother of his son, Lionel Muhangi.
“Be sure no one will scare me and I think you trust me,” he told Mugisha on November 13.
The revelations come at a time Muhangi’s family is engrossed in a heated battle over the inheritance of his multi-billion shilling estate.
The WhatsApp messages are in sharp contrast with assertions of several speakers at Muhangi’s burial ceremony that the deceased had agreed to sell his property.
Muhangi was found dead at his residence in Buziga, a Kampala suburb, on December 6 – the day he was set to meet with President Museveni to discuss his rivalry with Lubega.
At the time, Lubega was disputing a Supreme Court order reaffirming the former’s ownership of land housing Qualicel Building in Kampala.
Lubega and Hajj Matovu built Qualicel Bus Terminal Shopping Centre, Qualicel Bus Terminal and Nabukeera Arcade on the former Baganda Bus Park land which the Supreme Court said was owned by Muhangi.
Lubega and Matovu were also constructing a new structure in the parkyard when Muhangi evicted them.
This ignited a huge property row that compelled Lubega to close several arcades in Kampala, bringing business to a standstill.
Following Muhangi’s death, tycoon Hassan Bassajjabalaba asked the deceased’s family to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would allow them obtain proceeds from the sale of the contested property.
This MoU has since been challenged by Muhangi’s child Lionel Muhangi and the latter’s mother, Anne Mugisha who accuse Bassajjabalaba of conniving with Muhangi’s widow to mismanage the departed businessman’s estate.
Bassajjabalaba intended to take the MoU and the family to President Museveni so he can help them get the title to the property so they sell it and get billions of shillings.
Mugisha speaks out
But Ms Mugisha says Muhangi never planned to have the property sold to anyone.
“I heard some people lying at the funeral that Charles Muhangi had agreed to accept money for the disputed park property when he met President Museveni. This is not true,” said Mugisha.
“I kept the last messages he sent on WhatsApp and Charles was as determined as ever to keep his hard earned court order,” she added.
Mugisha told ChimpReports that Muhangi “may have died but those trying to dance on his grave will have to contend with my son Lionel who is determined to defend his father’s legacy. And he is empowered to it as the surviving shareholder of Horizon Coaches the company which won the court order against Drake Lubega. So those going to State House to claim ‘air’ should stand warned.’”
In one of the messages, Muhangi tells Mugisha: “Thank God I have eventually taken over my property after 14 years since last Monday.”
An excited Muhangi asks Mugisha to call him at her time of convenience.
He further says he has carried out an eviction which gives him full control of the multi-billion property.
“But it seems you still have peace talks with Museveni intervening,” queries Mugisha.
In response, Muhangi notes: “But now it is me in charge with a court order which means I will not lose either way.”
He explains all parties (Muhangi and Lubega) are “supposed to bring our documents (to Museveni) regarding the ownership which means the other party has nothing.”
Muhangi also rubbishes an order written by Ms Charity Nabasa on behalf of the Solicitor General (SG) which said the orders to evict Lubega and his agents on the Plot 43 to 47 on Nakivubo Road were made in error.
Muhangi had earlier used a letter issued by the office of the Solicitor General to evict Lubega and Hajj Matovu from the property.
The SG later distanced himself from Nabasa’s letter.
“Now I am more of a lawyer because I have done all the work myself as all the lawyers that worked for me were compromised,” says Muhangi in the messages without mentioning names.
He also says Nabaasa’s letter lacks authority from the Solicitor General “so it has no effect…”