Construction firm, police clash over Lubowa hospital land

Thursday July 4 2019

The fight over the controversial Lubowa land in

The fight over the controversial Lubowa land in Wakiso District, where government intends to put up an International Specialised Hospital, has taken a new twist after police arrested five people at the site 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Kampala. The fight over the controversial Lubowa land in Wakiso District, where government intends to put up an International Specialised Hospital, has taken a new twist after police arrested five people at the site.
Five people, among them three guards and two casual workers, were on Tuesday night arrested and detained at Kajjansi Police Station for allegedly violating a High Court order directing for the maintenance of the status quo.

Background
High Court Registrar Joy Kabagye on June 14 issued restraint orders against Finasi/Roko Construction SPV Limited and Finasi International FZC from evicting Roko Construction or alienating the Roko Construction Limited, who is now in possession of the site, from the International Specialised Hospital project at Lubowa site.
Also two containers were impounded and taken to Kajjansi Police Station.

“There is a court order for maintaining a status quo but on Tuesday night, Roko (construction Limited) brought two containers and took them to the site without the knowledge of the other party. This was in disobedience of lawful court order,” Mr Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said.

However, Mr Mark Koehler, the managing director of Roko Construction Limited, accused the police of acting illegally, insisting that the court order allows them to be on the site.
“We are partners responsible for the construction and the order allowed us (Roko) to be on site. Police came and evicted us illegally and this is contempt of court. They made away with our containers,” Mr Koehler said, adding that the issues will be addressed in court.

Going to court
Last month, Roko Construction Company petitioned court seeking to stop Finansi/Roko Construction SPV Limited and Finansi International Fzc from interfering with their work and to be in possession of the site for the proposed International Specialised Hospital.
In March, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, said government fully owns the Lubowa land and the title for it is in the names of the Ministry of Health.

This is despite an ongoing dispute in the Land Division of the High Court where the family of the late Buganda prince, Yusuf Suuna Kiweewa, claims he was the lawful owner of the land, having obtained it pursuant to the 1900 Buganda Agreement.
Parliament approved the construction of the specialised hospital amid opposition from a section of MPs after government sought to borrow $379.7m (Shs1.3 trillion) for the project.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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