What you need to know:
- The adhoc committee heard that the Ministry of Kampala Capital City Authority had expressed interest in compensating the former occupants.
Tenants who were kicked off the Nakawa-Naguru land have rejected a government proposal recommending a Shs40.6 billion compensation package.
Going by the government proposal, each former tenant would walk away with Shs17.8 million. They, however, want this figure to be scaled up to Shs50 million apiece, pushing the collective outlay to Shs87 billion.
The former tenants—numbering nearly 2,000—reason that Shs50 million will help each one of them compensate for the losses (in form of land and property) they incurred.
Addressing an ad hoc committee on the matter commissioned by Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, the chairperson of the Nakawa-Naguru Registered Tenants Association said Shs17 million is way below the land’s market value.
“They should expedite the process of compensating the former sitting tenants with Shs50 million as opposed to the discussions they held in Cabinet of Shs17.8 million,” Mr Simon Baringo said, adding, “If this money can’t be released, we demand for 30 acres of land so that we can develop with our own resources.”
The eviction took place after the government signed a public private partnership (PPP) contract with OPEC Prime Properties in mid October 2007. This was supposed to pave the way for the development of ultramodern satellite towns on the Nakawa-Naguru land.
The project was supposed to be delivered within 10 years. After the project stalled, the government took over the land.
The adhoc committee heard that the Ministry of Kampala Capital City Authority had expressed interest in compensating the former occupants.
The ministry consequently requested for Shs40.6b for payment of the 1,971 tenants. At least Shs5.4 billion would be spent on administrative costs with Shs35.07 billion ring-fenced for the actual compensation.
“We think they were just thinking about the handouts to former sitting tenants, which is very wrong. We have all legal claims on that piece of land,” Mr Baringo revealed.
He added: “There are 33 estates all over Uganda and on all the 33 estates the sitting tenants have bought them off and they are the ones occupying them and they are never evicted. Nakawa was an exception. We feel disenfranchised; we think our proprietorship rights were denied and we feel we weren’t equally treated as Ugandans.”
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Lawmaker Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West) empathised with the former tenants, saying that they “aren’t dictating” but that in fact “they are only saying government should be understanding of them.”
He added: “This was made by government many years ago and that promise over the years hasn’t been fulfilled…[the former tenants] aren’t denying what they signed…they are simply saying because of the many factors that have since happened the time that has passed, we are putting in a request to be understood.”
The former tenants—numbering nearly 2,000 reason that Shs50 million will help each one of them compensate for the losses (in form of land and property) they incurred.