Friday May 18 2018

Land fights threaten Nakiwogo pier plan

MV Kalangala docking at Nakiwogo pier

A refurbished MV Kalangala docking at Nakiwogo pier after undergoing annual mandatory servicing on May 8,2018. Photo by Eve Muganga 

By EVE MUGANGA & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA

ENTEBBE. A disagreement over land between two businessmen is likely to frustrate efforts to redevelop Nakiwogo pier, the main gateway to Kalangala District from Entebbe, Daily Monitor has established.

The fight pits Mr Sadala Musoke, whose firm, Nation Oil Distributors Ltd, manages MV Kalangala against Mr James Kibuuka Mulowooza of Mulowooza and Brothers Company Ltd.
The latter was initially managing MV Kalangala before he lost the contract to the former.
Last month, government awarded Nation Oil Distributors Ltd another three years under which it is mandated to rehabilitate and expand Nakiwogo pier.

However, when the company employees attempted to expand the road connecting to Nakiwogo pier a couple of weeks ago, they faced stiff resistance from workers of Mulowooza, claiming they had extended beyond their territory.

The bone of contention is on the parking lot and passenger waiting sheds, which are located on a piece of land adjacent the pier, which is owned by Mr Mulowooza. Mr Muwolooza allows passengers waiting for the ferry to use waiting sheds and park their vehicles at his Shehab Frontline Beach –something Mr Musoke says is not proper since the former’s firm lost the contract to manage MV Kalangala.

“Whether he [Mulowooza] is in agreement or not, the gate entering his beach, which is close to the route connecting to the pier has to be closed,” he said during an interview on Wednesday.

Mr Musoke insists that his company is currently erecting modern waiting sheds for passengers’ enroute to Kalangala and there is no need of entering the adjacent beach for shelter.
“All people waiting for MV Kalangala have to use one gate and we have provided waiting shades where they can rest as they wait for the vessel,” he said.

Mr Musoke said he is currently concentrating on developing the open space within the boundaries of Nakiwogo pier as government negotiates with land owners to expand the pier.
“Some people seem to have grabbed public land adjacent the pier, but we are leaving it to government. If they [government] find it fit to evict them, they will definitely do it,” he said.

But Mr Mulowooza said closing one of the gates entering his private business will be unfair and vowed to challenge it in the courts of law.

“By the time he [Musoke] got that tender, he found that gate there, let him not even touch it because that is a private property. If they want to expand the docking site, let him settle the matter with vendors, but not tampering with my land,’’ he added.
He also dismissed as baseless reports that he used the time while still managing MV Kalangala to acquire land currently using his beach.

“It is not true that I used my influence while still managing the ferry to acquire that land. I am surprised that people are making such wild allegations forgetting that even the proposals Nation Oil Distributors Ltd is trying to implement like beatifying Nakiwogo pier were drafted by us,” he said.

Mr Charles Magumba, the Entebbe town clerk, said Mr Mulowooza owns the land where he set up his beach and holds a title to it.
“To the best of my knowledge, that land belongs to him [Mulowooza]. However government owns the other piece of land housing Nakiwogo pier and the market,” he said.

Not informed
The Entebbe Mayor, Mr Vincent Kayanja Depaul, said as municipal council, government has not yet informed them about their plan to expand Nakiwogo pier.
“We are just hearing about it through the media. Let the Ministry of Works first write to us about their plans and see how we can handle the vendors who currently operating in that area,” he said.

However, when contacted, State minister for Works, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, said he is not sure whether the land housing Nakiwogo pier extends to private properties.
“It is true we have plans to beautify the pier and some construction works are already underway, but our land doesn’t extend into private land,” Gen Katumba said.

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