KAMPALA – Encroachers including individuals and private companies have grabbed half of Mandera National Stadium land. This revelation is contained in a petition to Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission investigating land matters in the country.
The managing director Mandela National Stadium Limited, Mr Jamil Ssewanyana, on Wednesday petitioned the commission to help them evict individuals and companies that have grabbed half of 120 acres belonging to one of the revered sports facilities in the country.
Mandela National Stadium Limited is a private limited company that is managing the Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.
“We have surveyed our land twice and found that part of the land has been encroached by people who claim they were not compensated by government under statutory instrument 23/1989 pertaining to the purchase of Namboole land,” Mr Ssewanyana reported to the land probe.
He said that some encroachers had secured special titles on stadium land which is threatening the future of sports development in the country. “My Lord, anytime I might receive a special title with someone claiming the pitch,” Mr Ssewanyana said.
Mr Ssewanyana requested the land probe to help him secure the land title for the 120 acre piece of land and Shs2.5 billion from government to fence the land.
Government bought 103 plots on Kyadondo Block 232 and Block 234 to build a stadium in 1989. Several people were compensated but some are claiming they were never compensated.
Mr Ssewanyana told the land probe that Kirekka Veterans Groups, Prayer Palace, and Bulemezi Maize Milling Company and others have encroached on the sports facility land.
He said other encroachers are; Kasumba Warehouse owned by Mr Kasumba, Mamerito Hotel owned by Mr Mamerito Mugerwa, the Mayor of Kiira Town Council, Samsuding Night Parking, Byakuleka Lodge and Inn, Terazone Construction who claim to be renting from Mamerito Mugerwa and Brig Hudson Mukasa.
Mr Ssewanyana told the commission that there is another washing bay owned by Capt Haruna Semakula, Bweyogerere Central market and a native doctor from the Buganda Kingdom.
“My Lord we have a security team to monitor our land and ensure no new encroachers come in, we have broken some houses, sometimes when we report to police we are not helped. The last time we arrested some people, they were released by police shortly after,” Mr Ssewanyana explained
According to Mr Ssewanyana, the title will guarantee ownership and help the company develop sports.
The manager wants to build an Olympic size swimming pool and a gymnasium to promote other sports besides football.
Mr Ssewanyana reported that the stadium is expecting a team from China who want to build the two facilities but the same cannot happen without a land title.
The land probe will on Thursday (today) tour stadium to assess the situation. All encroachers are also expected to be summoned by the commission to explain how they came to grab Namboole Stadium land and even acquire special title deeds.