Former tenants of the Naguru-Nakawa housing estates are seeking to repossess the land from which they were evicted more than five years ago.
More than 1700 families were affected when a private developer- Opec Prime Properties was given clearance to develop the estates into a satellite city under a USD 300 million
(1.071 trillion Shillings) Public Private Partnership-PPP.
The decision paved way for the demolition of hundreds of dilapidated structures that stood on the prime plots adjacent to Makerere University Business School on one side and Nakawa Market, on the opposite side.
Government envisaged that 1,747 flats would be constructed as part of the project, alongside recreation centres and related amenities for low-income earners. Government had also planned to separately build executive apartments, commercial blocks and institutional facilities like schools, clinics, and places of worship to complete the task.
It was envisaged that the entire project would be complete in 10 years. But six years later, the land lies idle and is now surrounded by a thick bush, inside the corrugated Iron sheet fence.
The former tenants now argue that the project is a flop since the developer has failure to meet his side of the bargain under the Public Private Partnership signed with government in 2007 and the subsequent Memorandum of Understanding signed with the tenants.
“The project site remains vacant, except a few residential houses that have been constructed on parceled out pieces of land, in contravention of the MOU… further making us concerned about delivery of the flats,” the tenants observed in a petition to the Speaker of Parliament this morning.
The group, led by Simon Baligo, the chairperson of Naguru-Nakawa Tenants Association together with Nakawa Division MP Micheal Kabaziguruka, noted a breakdown in communication between them and government yet they continue to incur unnecessary housing costs elsewhere.
Baligo demanded that government identifies the land that was intended for development and grant them immediate repossession of the project site so that they identify an independent contractor.
Nakawa Division MP Michael Kabaziguruka quoted ongoing negotiations between Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Opec Prime Properties for compensation to a tune of 40 billion Shillings for part of the Nakawa estate that President Museveni gave Agakhan Foundation for the construction of Agakhan Teaching Hospital.
Kabaziguruka called for investigations into the matter which he highlights as wastage of tax payers’ money for compensating an investor who had failed on a project for many years.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga described the development as a shame on the side of the developer to leave land redundant posing security threats to residents in the nearby areas.