Former tenants of Naguru-Nakawa estate run to parliament over delayed construction

PARLIAMENT: Six years after they were evicted, tenants that formerly occupied the Naguru Nakawa Housing Estate, petitioned Parliament seeking redress.
In their petition to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, the tenants through their chairperson Mr Simon Patrick Barigo want government to take ownership of their land from OPEC Prime Properties Ltd after the later failed to commence construction work.
“The government should identify and allocate the land that was intended for the development of the 1747 flats to the petitioners and the tenants all-inclusive and grants them immediate possession of the Project site,” reads part of the petition.
The tenants also want government to return the land to its initial occupants sating that “the Petitioners shall be at liberty to identify an independent contractor.”
In October 2007, government through the Ministry pf Local government, entered concession with OPEC Prime Properties Ltd, to turn the Naka-Naguru estate into a Satellite City.
In a Public Private Agreement, the developer was expected to commence works within six months and priority was to be given to the registered occupants of the area through the construction of 1747 flats that would be rented to tem at subsidized costs.
Although the process had hit a snag by 2010, the developer asked government to evict the settlers who had allegedly caused the delay for project implication, compelling government to forceful evict them in 2011.
To date, no structure has been erected in what the Speaker described as shameful.
“Really we are ashamed that the so called investor, 10 years later cannot even put up one brock on the property,” she said.
The Speaker promised that she would follow up the matter with the president, who commissioned the project.
She also said that she would urge Parliament to take up the matter for the plight of the people.
“This is an urban authority, once you fail to develop as per the lease you forfeit, because it is clear, ten years later, you have forfeited,” said Kadaga
Mr Barigo who doubles as the KCCA Naguru LC III Councilor said that many people have continued to suffering exorbitant rent fees without any hope of getting what belongs to them.
“The petitioners are concerned that upon signing the Memorandum of understanding with the Government in 2007, there has been no evident development on the project site and furthermore no communication has been received by them elaborating on the causes of the delays nor any projections of when the developments shall commence, be completed and handed over…” Barigo stated.
The residents also fear that due to appreciation rates, the may lose their first priority to purchase the units at subsidised cost as was the initial condition for vacating the project site to pave way for construction.
They told the speaker that the current developer has failed and that they are left at the mercy of government to identify another developer to take on the redevelopment.