Govt reclaims Naguru estate land for own use

Monday May 17 2021
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People load iron sheets and poles onto a truck after houses were destroyed at the Naguru-Nakawa housing estate land in December 2020. PHOTO/ RACHEL MABALA

By Stephen Otage

The government has reclaimed the Naguru-Nakawa land after 10 years.
The land had been given to Opec Prime Properties, an investor, to construct a satellite city.
Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the State minister for Housing and Urban Development, said the land has been earmarked for the construction of a specialised medical centre.

“The Naguru-Nakawa land was government land where they had constructed low cost houses in 1960s but we came up with an idea to develop modern housing units. However, Opec Prime Properties did not have the capacity. Government usually gives developers five years to execute projects but they failed,” Mr Baryomunsi said on Friday while presenting the 2016-2021 National Resistance Movement party manifesto report on housing sector performance in Kampala.

The minister added that the land in question has since been repossessed by the Land Commission on behalf of government.
He said the medical hub will complement the Naguru-China Friendship Hospital, the Iran Hospital, and the Uganda Heart Institute, which has also been given 10 acres from the same land for purposes of constructing a new health facility, as well as a Kenyan medical company and another company from United States of America.

READ: What happened to the Naguru-Nakawa Satellite City project?

On October 15, 2007, Opec Prime Properties - Uganda Ltd entered into a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with the government to redevelop the estate. The agreement provided for the construction to start within four years from the date of sealing the contract.

The prioritisation of the displaced tenants as beneficiaries of the first housing units was provided for in a Memorandum of Understanding between the prospective investors, tenants’ association and government.
On October 14, 2013, President Museveni laid the foundation stone for the construction of the estate.
The project dubbed: “New Kampala” was expected to see the 160-acre land, formerly home to the Naguru-Nakawa low-cost housing units, redeveloped to have 1,747 flats, bungalows, commercial buildings, a five-star hotel, a referral hospital, schools, houses of worship and recreational facilities.


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

The minister listed 25 achievements that his ministry has been able to score in line with the 2016-2021 NRM manifesto.
The establishment of 22 zonal offices, which have decongested the headquarters, increasing the land fund from Shs42b to Shs111.5b and enabling government to purchase 259.204 acres of land, were some of the achievements that Mr Baryomunsi listed.

Others were; the ministry drafting the 2020 Land Acquisition Bill to enable government implement infrastructure projects on time, establishment of guidelines to protect land occupants from land evictions, mapping out 35,800 customary land parcels and issuance of 29,969 certificates of customary ownership.