Museveni gives out more Kitante land

Kitante Primary School pupils stand near the fence that separates the school from the five acres given to Dr Tamale Sali to build a hospital.PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

What you need to know:

President doles out two more acres of the school’s land to Dr Tamale Ssali. But since 2007 no hospital has been built on the land, apart from brick-making.

President Museveni, acting through Lands minister Daudi Migereko, has allocated two more acres of prime city land at Kitante Primary School to an investor to build a private hospital.
The investor, Dr Tamale Sali, was given five acres of the school land in 2007 but a visit to the school showed that no hospital has been built and the land is currently used to make bricks for sale.
School officials say the move to carve out even more land will affect pupils directly through demolition of existing structures and restricting future expansion. There has been no construction work at the site given to Dr Sali six years ago.

"I am shocked that some more two acres of the school land is being asked for,” the school’s head teacher, Ms Schola Ndyangambaki, told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday. “I wonder where it will come from; this means they will have to encroach on the playground and some classroom blocks.”

Started in 1968, the pupil population at Kitante increased from 2,500 in 2009 and is currently 3,386. Officials say despite increasing demand for places, they do not have space to expand facilities.

Mr Migereko wrote to the Uganda Land Commission, which manages public land, last February directing it to carve out two acres off the school land and offer it to Dr Sali to construct a private intro-fertilisation fertility (IVF) and sickle cell hospital.

Minister Migereko said he was acting on the instructions of the President but the latest allocation has raised eyebrows with Lands officials noting that Dr Sali was earlier given a large chunk of land from the school, some of which allegedly went to rent-seekers and State House officials.

There has been no construction work at the site given to Dr Sali six years ago, apart from the brick-making. The first phase of the hospital was supposed to have been completed last year.

Fresh claim
In 2005 Dr Sali approached the President and asked for land around Kampala to build an IVF clinic. The doctor owns a fertility clinic in Kampala, which treats women with fertility problems. On October 27, 2005 Mr Museveni wrote to the Lands minister directing them to allocate about approximately five acres that had been identified at Kitante Primary School.

This was followed by a February 20, 2006 letter from the Lands minister directing ULC, on behalf of the President, to allocate land to Dr Sali and another firm, M/s Yash Computers.

Several meetings were held between ULC, the investor, Kampala City Council management and the management at Kitante PS regarding the location of the land and the acreage to be offered for the clinic.

According to documents seen by this newspaper, the school administration was opposed to the development. This prompted the Lands minister to call for a stakeholders’ meeting at which the offer to M/s Yash Computers was cancelled and five acres allocated to Dr Sali.

The meeting agreed to “the remainder being surveyed, titled and reserved for Kitante PS”, according to minutes seen by Daily Monitor.

Subsequently Mr Francis Lubanga, the Permanent Secretary in the Education ministry withdrew his earlier objection to the allocation of the school land to the private investor.

“I withdraw my objection to the allocation of the school’s land to the fertility centre. ULC may allocate the two acres of land as proposed by the Minister of State for Lands Hon Kasirivu-Atwooki. The commission should title the remaining piece of land for Kitante PS,” Mr Lubanga wrote on June 26, 2007.

After ULC officials surveyed the land and asked Dr Tamale to pay a premium of Shs456 million for the lease, President Museveni again intervened on behalf of the investor.

“This is outrageous. How do you expect an investor to succeed in developing when he has to pay such exorbitant charges? This is to direct you to liaise with ULC in view of waiving this requirement …to enable the investor get the title deed and proceed with the construction,” the President wrote.

The matter continued to attract controversy, however, and in June 2010 President Museveni requested the Lands minister to investigate allegations that officials from State House and Ministry of Lands had taken over the land.

“I gave him 10.7 acres of land in Kitante. Apparently, some people have been trying to steal this land. They only gave him 5 acres. Who are these people that took the other 5.7 acres? Is it true that they are State House and Ministry of Lands officials? Check on the identities of these people and inform me,” reads part of President Museveni’s letter to Hon Atubo, the then-Lands minister.

“Meanwhile, do everything that is legally possible to get Dr Sali the remainder of his 5.7 acres so that he expands his facility.”

Dr Sali wrote to minister Migereko last year asking for two more acres of land and alleging that land earlier allocated to him had been stolen.

“The additional land of about 5.7 acres which had been allocated to me was stolen. I did communicate to the President. Some people have started building on it, leaving about two acres which I request to get in order to suit our hospital project which required at least 12 acres of land,” Dr Sali said in his letter.

However, Henry Kawesa, the ULC Secretary, yesterday told Daily Monitor inquiries by his office found no evidence to prove that land allocated to the investor had been stolen.

School officials worry that they could pay the price for the misunderstanding between the investor and the ULC by having more of their land carved out to Dr Sali.

Mr Tamale Murundi, the Presidential Press Secretary, said Dr Sali has the right to ask for more land.
“He wanted more space which he wasn’t given. If he wanted land for a trailer and he was given land for a Pajero, then he has a right to complain because his project can’t be accommodated on what he was given,” Mr Tamale said.
Dr Sali said yesterday: “I asked for more land. I am in Europe on holiday. But who has told you? I don’t know whom am talking to. Let me talk to you when I come back on May 20.”