Buganda, Chinese firm to build housing units

Wednesday April 8 2015

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Kampala.

Buganda Kingdom in partnership with the Henan Guoji Industry Group, a Chinese real estate developer, has unveiled a $65 million (Shs195 billion) grand plan that will see 220 housing units built at Kigo in Wakiso District.

Last year, through its investment holding company, Buganda Investments and Commercial Undertaking Limited (BICUL), signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Henan Group to develop a high-end real estate.

During the unveiling of the master plan at Bulange, Mengo yesterday, BICUL’s chief executive officer Roland Sebuwufu, said the kingdom wanted to partner with serious investors to provide solutions that would benefit not only the Buganda, but also contribute to the economic development of the country.

The project christened “Mirembe –Villas Kigo” overlooks Lake Victoria Serena Hotel’s Golf Course and is close to the under-construction Entebbe Express Highway. Buganda has earmarked 273 acres of land on which the units will be built.

“We expect Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to officiate at the ground-breaking this July as part of the 22nd pre-coronation celebration,” Mr Sebuwufu said.

Mr Stephen Zhang, the managing director of Guoji Company (U) Ltd, a local subsidiary of Henan Group, said some houses are under construction ahead of the official grand breaking in two months’ time.

Mr Zhang said in the first phase, they will put up 81 units which are expected to be up and ready in one year.

The units are estimated to cost $250,000-$400,000 (Shs750m-Shs1.2b) depending on the size and subject to the inflation at the time.
They are targeting Ugandans, especially those from the Diaspora, to buy the already build houses with an options of a 99-year lease.

According to Mr Sebuwufu, BICUL was looking at having partnerships with commercial banks which offer mortgages such as Housing Finance Bank.
He, however, said clients interested in making bookings and want more details about the project, can access Guoji Company (U) Ltd offices at Garden City.

Real estate growing
The country has attracted big real estate developers such as Akright Real Estates and Mega City Apartment, among others. Experts in the industry say Uganda has an accumulated national housing backlog of 500,000 against a supply of 500-1,000 low-cost housing units expected this year.

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