By Mable Nakibuuka
The longstanding wrangle between Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Nalongo Estates, a company owned by businessman Godfrey Nyakana and his wife Sarah Kizito is bound to delay the construction of the much-awaited Kampala Flyover, which is aimed at decongesting the traffic within the Central Business District.
The standoff between KCCA and Nalongo Estates has left the contractor for the Flyover on standstill, because Nyakana and Kizito’s refusal to vacate the land at Centenary Park means that the contractors have to make structural adjustment in the plans and designs for the project.
It should be noted that Nalongo Estates secured a 10-year lease for the Centenary Park land which is comprised in Plots 34E and 38E Jinja Road, from the defunct Kampala Capital City (KCC), the predecessor of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), on May16th, 2006.
According to the lease agreement, Nalongo Estates was to develop, utilize and maintain Centenary Park as a Recreational Park and Bridal Gardens.
But contrary to the management agreement provisions, Nalongo Estates illegally erected structures that were not approved by the Authority.
The Management Contract subsequently expired on May 16th, 2016 and has not been renewed by KCCA since then.
However, Nalongo Estates has not handed over the park back to KCCA, although clauses 12 and 13 of the agreement state that;
“At expiry of the management contract, all the structures in Centenary Park put up by the managers shall revert to the Council and further use of the Centenary Park after this agreement shall be at the discretion of the Council.”
As a result of this impasse between KCCA and Nalongo Estates, the Capital City Public Accounts Committee (CCPAC), in their audit report for the Financial Years 2016/17 and 2017/18, recommended that KCCA should repossess its property comprised in Centenary Park (Plot 34E and 38E, and the place be put to its original purpose.
The report compiled by CCPAC, which is headed by Dan Kabaziguruka, also recommended that the Minister for Kampala should work with the relevant law enforcement agencies to support KCCA in repossessing this Park.
KCCA’s Take On Matter
However, whereas the Committee and other relevant authorities support KCCA to repossess Centenary Park, officials at the Authority are either reluctant to repossess the property or not willing to do so, because of the dilly-dallying they exhibited ever since the management contract secured by Nalongo Estates expired.
Officials at KCCA maintain that the property is meant to be a public open place and that they attempted to serve notices on Nalongo Estates for illegal development of the land only for their staff to be assaulted by the agents/assignees of Nalongo Estates at the site.
They contend that the incident was reported to the Uganda Police and the matter was forwarded to the Resident State Attorney who is yet to sanction the file.
They also revealed that following the expiry of the management contract to Nalongo Estates, the Government, having earmarked a huge portion of the land for the Kampala Flyover Project, was due to take over possession of the land since there is no binding contract anymore with the company.
However, the company (Nalongo Estates) petitioned President Yoweri Museveni, who guided that the Solicitor General should prepare a temporary permit to allow the company operate at the premises until the land-take for the Flyover Project is complete.
However, a draft agreement by the SG was rejected by the company which now demands that the land should be leased to it instead.
But in a bid to enable the construction of the Kampala Flyover Project to continue unhampered, the Committee has since requested the Minister for Kampala to work with all the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Park is repossessed by KCCA.
This is because if this matter is not handled and concluded expeditiously, the Government is likely to be compelled to pay USD80,000 per day to the contractor in case of delays due to land acquisition challenges.
Based on the recommendation of the Feasibility Study, the Government of Uganda represented by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), contracted Nippon Koei in JV with Eighth Japan Engineering Company (EJEC) and ICS to carry out the detailed design and tender assistance of the Kampala Flyover Project (Jinja Road – Mukwano Road – Queen’s Way) to be ensure the detailed design is prepared in time for the anticipated loan from JICA to finance the construction works.