Few meetings between known friends turn out to make buzz. However, the weekend meeting between lawyer David Mpanga and Robert Kabushenga is making heads turn.
The meeting took place at Rugyeyo farm, a ranch associated with Kabushenga, the Vision Group chief executive. Depending on who talk to, the coffee and banana farm is located in Namayumba, Wakiso District is between 50 to 100 acres.
Increasingly Ugandans are taking meetings out of the Kampala’s leafy offices, clubs or hotels, as state surveillance becomes the norm.
Such meetings between high profile people have in the past found their way into the media with video footages as evidence, and now some people prefer to sit in private banana or coffee or forest plantations, to discuss a number of things without fear of listening walls.
A meeting that embarrassed people happened last year in Justine Bagyenda’s office on a Sunday. Her visitors including lawyer Timothy Masembe Kanyerezi of MMKAS law firm, as well as top bank chief executives at DFCU and Baroda. The meeting was a subject of Parliamentary probe as lawmakers asked why Bagyenda was holding an official meeting at the central bank on Sunday with outsiders who didn’t register! Bagyenda has been a subject of scrutiny owing to her role in the closure and sale of bank assets which many people believe now were not done in good faith. In addition to the disappearance of key documents.
Analysts say Bagyenda would have survived the onslaught if such meetings could have taken place away from prying eyes especially in Kampala.
Therefore, Kabushenga is playing smart as his farm has become “a tourist attraction” of sorts for friends and clients who seek him out in the recent past. He has also advertised it big time using Vision platforms.
Watchdoguganda.com understands Kabushenga got his seed capital from businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, to start this farm. The two were known to be close friends.
After the visit, Mpanga went on his twitter to applaud Vision Group Chief Executive Officer for the lucrative venture.
“An inspiring day well spent with Cindy and @rkabushenga at RugyeyoFarm. Mukulu Webale.
Mpanga cheekily added, “As @rKabushenga tells it, @RugyeyoFarm is a coffee farm masquerading as a banana farm.
Mpanga adds, “The bananas are the current account. It is also a tourist attraction now.”
In response Kabushenga said recalling an event he was recorded by a CCTV camera with Mpanga.
In 2017, the video made rounds on social media showing Kabushenga taking a seat in the exclusive area of Liquid Silk, Bugolobi before being joined by Mpanga who by then was part of Bank of Uganda lawyers in a court case against businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.
It’s alleged that after the meeting between the two, New Vision started releasing a series of stories about Crane bank saga with the aim of blackmailing the property magnate.
“As u know @dfkm1970 it is always a pleasure to be in your company especially where there is no CCTV, if u know what I mean. Thanks for dropping by, it was very re-energizing.” Kabushenga said.
Since Parliament’s Cosase will be meeting a number of shareholders of closed banks and lawyers of Bank of Uganda this week before the committee winds up its findings, social media commentators have concluded Kabushenga, Mpanga meeting had nothing to do with bananas and coffee, but, the Cosase probe.
We wait to see how New Vision will cover the last days of Abdu Katuntu’s led Cosase.