Saturday January 18 2014

‘Kasokoso residents must leave’

By Benjamin Jumbe

State Minister for Housing Sam Engola has said residents on the contested Kasokoso slum area must leave to pave way for development.

Mr Engola made the remarks when he appeared before Parliament’s physical infrastructure committee on Thursday. “The land was acquired in 1960s and it belongs to National Housing and Construction Company.

The residents have to leave so that we build houses for people,” Engola said. “They came as squatters from upcountry and then the LCI chairperson who was there started selling them the land that was not his. That was the mistake,” Mr Engola said. He said the ministry is sensitising the residents over the matter. He appealed to the parliamentary committee on physical infrastructure to hear the residents’ petition expeditiously to allow the country move forward with the development of the area.

Different position
However, the chairperson of the Board of Directors of National Housing and Construction Company, Ms Agnes Kalibbala, denied a plan to evict the residents. “I want to clarify that there will be no eviction. This is an inclusive process where we will be working with the people. When we are building, we will do it in phases,” Ms Kalibbala said.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, at the height of the tension last year assured the residents nobody would evict them. The land is more than 290 acres. It is under contention between residents and National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC), a government-owned venture. The committee is expected to meet the Lands minister and officials from NHCC next week.