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Parliament centenary park investigations start tomorrow

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The Parliament Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) is set to start investigations into the issues surrounding the occupancy of Centenary Park tomorrow

Chaired by Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu, the Committee was given only ten days to finish the job.

Speaking to Eagle Online, Chairman Katuntu said work should have started last week but some of the officials were not around.

“I should have started last week but these people (The Executive Directors of UNRA and KCCA) were not in the country. So I am starting tomorrow,” he said adding that he will judge ‘how simple or hard the job will be’ after his first meeting.

SOUGHT KCCA INTERVENTION: IGG Justice Irene Mulyagonja Kakooza

The investigation came last week on the instruction of the Speaker after the Government Ombudsman, Justice Irene Mulyagonja complained that she did not have powers to investigate the matter.

In her complaint to Parliament, Justice Mulyagonja said that the ping pong between Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Nalongo Estates Limited has seen three public projects stall yet the Ombudsman’s office doesn’t have the mandate to investigate the matter because Nalongo Estates is a private company.

She also noted that the land conflict at heart of the matter was subjected to both arbitral proceedings before the Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, and litigation in Commercial Court Division of the High Court. Mr Katuntu says investigations start tomorrow.

The barbecue-lounge in Centenary Park

The conflict

Nalongo Estates Limited, run by Sarah Kizito, wife to former Kampala politician, Godfrey Nyakana, is at logger heads with City Hall over failure to renew the lease to manage Centenary Park.

KCCA has stood its ground, defending its position not to renew Nalongo Estates’ lease for breach of earlier lease provisions, arguing that the lease and management executed with the Kizito expired in May 2016, and that the business lady should have vacated the premises by Dec 31, 2016.

But Kizito has remained defiant despite court orders demanding she hands over the property.

It is alleged that on May 16 2006, the then KCC and Nalongo Estates Limited executed a management agreement to keep the park as a green open/public space.

However, Nalongo Estates reportedly abused KCC trust and constructed temporary structures, leaving KCC with no choice but terminate the contract on June 26, 2012.

Kizito retaliated by dragging KCCA to the Arbitration Tribunal in September 2013, deeming the Authority’s actions illegal with the argument that Nalongo Estates had a running management contract that had not been ‘lawfully’ terminated.

Nalongo Estates won the case and was awarded Shs732.5 million in damages and KCCA attempts to fight further were frustrated in High Court-Commercial Division after the Judge upheld the earlier ruling.

Tax payers were forced to meet the costs on December 16, 2016.

National Water and UNRA’s plan for a flyover

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has already lost approximately Shs1b as agents of Nalongo Estates Ltd claimed ownership of the same land, forcing the contractor to halt works.

NWSC swiftly ran to KCCA seeking answers, and indeed the Authority confirmed that Nalongo Estates had previously been given a management contract to manage the green park for 10 years.

The delays to access the site sqaw the contractor slap a Shs979.9 million fine on the Corporation.

The 31 kilo meter of sewer line upon completion will serve areas of Kololo, Golf Course belt, Serena Hotel, Nakasero and Kitante.

Meanwhile, Umeme also has to relocate a Power Sub-station but the works are yet to kick off due to another fierce fight between KCCA and Nalongo Estates.

Similarly, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) plans to construct the Kampala Flyover but has pleaded with KCCA not to hand over property to be managed by Nalongo Estates of Sarah Kizito.

In a related development Ms Kizito reportedly sought the help of ‘her friend President Museveni’, protesting the ‘unfair manner in which the matters were handled’.

She accused KCCA’s Jeniffer Musisi of being defiant, noting that despite orders by President Museveni to have her lease renewed, Musisi has failed to soften her stand.

Kizito had reportedly asked President Museveni to order KCCA to unconditionally renew her lease noting: “We are seeking for fairness as a local company owned by hardworking ladies, we are coherent with Government projects and we are looking for a win-win situation.”


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