Saturday July 12 2014

IGG halts Hoima road works

By Francis Mugerwa

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has halted the construction of two roads in Hoima Municipal Council.

In the report address
ed to Hoima town clerk Emmanuel Banya, the Deputy IGG, Mr George Bamugemereire, said the municipality abused its power and encroached on and graded two roads on Plot 46 in Kiryateete suburb.
The report, dated May 23, said the municipality started constructing the roads without the consent of the landlord, Dr Eva Kajumna-Muganga, who holds a freehold title for the land.

The contention
According to the IGG report, the municipality recently started upgrading Bara and Adam roads without seeking consent from the landlord.
“The two roads are not gazzeted and are not on the physical layout plan of the municipality,” Mr Bamugemereire’s report reads in part.
At the time of acquiring the land, the area was reportedly outside the boundaries of Hoima Town Council, which was later elevated to a municipal status.

There were no marked roads, except foot paths connecting various homes. The paths were also used as access to the main roads in Hoima town.
According to the IGG, the Council graded the roads for all intents and purposes when Dr Kajumba, the legitimate owner of the land, had not been contacted or consulted in anyway as to the intended development on her property.
Dr Kajumna challenged the council’s intrusion on grounds that it was oppressive, unfair and a form of land grabbing.

However, IGG investigators claimed that there was no evidence of property loss or damage during the construction of the roads.
The Hoima Town Clerk, Mr Emmanuel Banya, wrote to the IGG on August 14, 2013, admitting the existence of the two roads.

While responding to the IGG’s quesries, he argued that it is impossible to close the roads because there are residential buildings along the roads, which have been approved basing on the accessibility offered by the two roads.

Way forward
The IGG directed that in an event that the municipality is still interested in developing the said roads, it should go through the lawful procedure of land acquisition.

“This may be by way of negotiated settlement with the proprietor or going through the laid down procedure of acquiring land for public use, including proper authorisation and compensation,” Mr George Bamugemereire, the deputy IGG, said.