What you need to know:
- Authorities seek an extension as they consider alternative resettlement plans.
The government has asked businessman Bosco Muwonge to extend the lease for a 10-acre piece of land in Kisenyi, a Kampala City suburb by four months.
The land is currently being occupied by former street vendors and hawkers who were evicted from the street by city authorities.
In an interview with this publication yesterday, the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Ms Minsa Kabanda, said the government is considering buying the land to permanently settle the vendors and hawkers.
Ms Kabanda said the land is private property which the government accessed on a short-term lease (two months) to secure a workspace for the street vendors and hawkers.
She noted that the landowner and government agreed that the hawkers and vendors would use the land during the festive season between December 2022 and January 2023.
“Right now, we are waiting to listen to the [businessman] to extend the period to at least four months. When we let the street vendors go, we shall find them on the streets. We are still containing the situation as we wait for the extension of the period,” she said.
Ms Kabanda, however, said the government, through Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) was also looking for other alternatives.
In an interview with this publication on January 5, Ms Kabanda said they had written to the chief government valuer to establish the actual value of the land before any transactions can be effected.
“His [Mr Muwonge] first price was in dollars. I don’t remember the amount, but I think it ranged between Shs100 billion and Shs300 billion. I can’t estimate the value of that land, but I want a reasonable price,” Ms Kabanda said.
She added: “The land was identified by President Museveni who wrote to us to negotiate with him (Mr Muwonge). We have not yet reached where it will be. We have left it alone and we are going to bring a government valuer to evaluate.”
Monitor, however, established that Mr Muwonge had asked for nearly Shs370 billion from the government for the land.
Leaders oppose deal
On January 4, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago told journalists that there was a dubious transaction in which the government earmarked $100m (Shs365 billion) to purchase the land to settle street vendors.
Mr Lukwago said leaders in Kampala opposed the deal claiming it is a ploy to steal taxpayers’ money.