In perfect fashion of Peter’s denial of Jesus described in the four canonical Gospels, the National Resistance Movement has denied knowing Mr Patel Arvind, let alone knowing the shs400M he allegedly lent the Party.
While addressing a press conference at the party seat on plot 10 Kyadondo road, NRM deputy treasurer, Singh Katongole, said they have never dealt with Mr Patel as party.
“I want to make it clear to everyone that we do not know that Indian,” he said. “Patel, NRM owes him nothing. shs400M is not small money, does he have any instrument from me showing I received the money or that I requested for it? If he had any dealing with an individual, that is not party to NRM.”
Mr Patel, according to his lawyer, Mr Fred Muwema, lent the NRM Shs400m to be repaid with interest within three months, and the money due has since accumulated to Shs5.4b.
When Mr Patel pressed his claim in the Commercial Court last week, NRM denied knowledge of the loan. The case has since gone into mediation, failing which the trial will proceed. If the parties fail to agree, Mr Muwema says Mr Patel may be forced to seek an injunction looking to block the national conference.
The loan in question, Mr Muwema says, was contracted by Ms Nina Kemigisha Mbabazi and Mr Frank Katusiime as they worked to computerise and update the register of NRM supporters. Mr Muwema says the loan was contracted “with the approval of party chairman President Museveni” and a commitment to repay it to boot.
It is not clear whether the party is reluctant to pay off the loan due to the fallout between former prime minister Amama Mbabazi and President Museveni. When the loan was contracted, Mr Mbabazi was thought to be firmly in charge of the party as secretary general, which is likely why his daughter, Ms Kemigisha, got the deal to work on the party supporters’ register.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor