December 1, 2020

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Gov’t will not compensate Nalongo for Centenary park land – KCCA

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 Kampala Fly Over project to affect Centenary Park. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA has made it clear they will not compensate Nalongo Estates Company for land that Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA took over at Centenary Park.

Sarah Kizito, the managing director of Nalongo Estates Company says they entered a Memorandum of Understanding with KCCA to manage about 4.7 acres of public land at Centenary Park on Jinja road in Kampala. The company occupies about 5 acres of land and Kizito says part of it is not public land.

Kizito says that later when Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA needed land for the Kampala Fly Over Project and asked KCCA, the company agreed to surrender two acres of land and in turn KCCA would give them lease titles on the remaining land. However, UNRA sought for more land, a move Nalongo opposed.

Last month, the Executive Director of KCCA Dorothy Kisaka said they had reached a mutual understanding with Nalongo Estates and decided that she surrenders two acres as talks continue over the extra land.

However barely two days after, a team of UNRA officials went to Centenary Park and demarcated five acres of land. This move prompted Nalongo to petition KCCA council with hopes that they would stop KCCA from giving land to UNRA. In the petition, Nalongo also sought compensation in the event that KCCA insists on giving UNRA land.

However, the KCCA acting director Legal Affairs Caleb Mugisha says Nalongo Estates shall not be compensated for the land since it already belongs to government. The land was leased to KCCA by the Kampala District Land Board. Mugisha insists that since the UNRA project requires over 4.7 acres, they will have it.

He says that it’s only after UNRA has taken the land it needs that Nalongo shall be allocated the remaining land.

UNRA spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa told Uganda Radio Network – URN earlier that they need all the land for the project and that no person shall frustrate the government project. He fears that if the project stalls, government would not only lose out on the benefits of the road, but it could strain on financing the loan funding the construction.

The fights over Centenary Park started in 2006 when Kizito acquired a lease. In 2011, KCCA terminated the agreement accusing Nalongo of flouting conditions like constructing permanent structures in the area which was not allowed as per the agreement.

In 2012, KCCA attempted to repossess the land but were opposed by Nalongo and her husband, Godfrey Nyakana, then NRM chairman Central Division – Kampala. The matter has since gone to parliament and the president who later directed that UNRA be given the land needed to implement the Kampala fly over project.

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