Friday December 8 2017

Launch of Makerere main gate delays over design queries

Pending. Makerere University main gate that is

Pending. Makerere University main gate that is still under construction. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By AMOS NGWOMOYA

Kampala. Students, motorists and other road users who had anticipated using the newly constructed main entrance to Makerere University soon will have to wait a little longer after the university administration raised queries over the design of the main gate.
The new main gate, whose construction kicked off in November last year, was supposed to be handed over to the university management three months ago by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

However, KCCA says the main entrance will not be opened to public use until it has been designed with the symbols that suit the requirements of the university management.
Mr Peter Kaujju, the KCCA spokesperson, says although it was KCCA’s role to construct the main gate and hand it over to the institution, the latter said they would officially receive it after it has been designed to rhyme with the university image.
“We haven’t handed over the main gate to management because they requested that we should wait until they finish the design works, which I think are being worked on. As KCCA, we finished all the construction works,” Mr Kaujju said.

Mr Kaujju added that the nine roads which KCCA renovated within the university will all be handed over to the management alongside the main gate but he could not give the period when they would do so.
In an email sent to this newspaper, Makerere University spokesperson Ritah Namisango said works on the main gate are on schedule.
“…the contractor to handle the final finishes, designs, installation of CCTV cameras, tiling, painting, connection of lighting and electricity is expected to start after the signing of the contract expected within not more than two weeks,” the email reads in part.

Ms Namisango noted that the university technical team stated that the total cost earmarked for the aforementioned services as well as the type of designs will be communicated after the contract has been confirmed.
However, she did not state when the exercise is likely to commence and when the final product will be expected.
This means motorists will continue bracing the heavy traffic jam to access and exit the university premises through either the Western gate on Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road or the Eastern gate on Bombo Road.
Students, lecturers and other motorists claim the stalled construction of the new main gate eats up their time because they have to use the other two gates, which are quite distant.

Mr Henry Mukalazi, a university employee, says: “I work in the School of Education but now I have to use the Western gate to access the university premises and at times, there is heavy traffic on Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road.”
The new main gate is part of the Shs6.9b compensation to the university by KCCA for encroaching on their 2.468 acres of land when the construction of Makerere Hill Road commenced last year.

KCCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the university management to spend the money on renovating nine roads within the institution, installation of new lights, construction of walkways and the main gate.
Those upgraded are Mary Stuart Hall, Pool, Livingstone, Livingstone Hall, Lincoln, Technology, Police, Religious Centres and the Western gate roads.
The new main gate sits between the university Mosque on the right and Makerere Institute of Social Research on the left.
According to the plan, all historical artifacts of the main gate such as the emblem will be preserved.

angwomoya@ug.nationmedia.com

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