Ham accuses KCCA of mismanaging city trees

Hamis KIggundu. PHOTO / FILE

What you need to know:

  • The trees were meant to boost the city's green initiatives, but Ham claims that KCCA employees are poisoning and destroying them.

Businessman Hamis Kiggundu, alias Ham, has expressed his disappointment and sadness over the alleged mistreatment of the 100,000 royal palm trees he donated to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in January.

The trees were meant to boost the city's green initiatives, but Ham claims that KCCA employees are poisoning and destroying them.

"It's really sad seeing these KCCA employees poisoning and destroying these palm trees... where is the patriotism?" Ham posted on his X handle, tagging a viral video showing individuals uprooting and loading palm trees onto a KCCA truck.

The trees acquired in January ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, were planted along the major city roads, such as Mukwano road, Yusuf-Lule road, Nile Avenue and Ggaba road, among others.

"We spent a lot of money and time buying, donating, planting, and maintaining these royal palm trees across the entire city under their watch and supervision, but it’s disheartening that they are the ones uprooting them," Mr Kiggundu said.

He questioned the country's development strategy, stating, "With such impunitive acts unprosecuted, we have a long way to develop as a country."

KCCA's acting spokesperson, Daniel Nuwabeine, responded that the authority recently reviewed the city's green development and decided to transplant some palm trees to other appropriate areas, citing potential obstruction of traffic visibility, CCTV cameras, and electric lines.

Mr Nuwabeine acknowledged that some trees had dried and wilted but dismissed allegations of poisoning.

"No one in KCCA can poison or deliberately uproot a tree... we may not have informed Mr Kiggundu of what we are doing, but it's about ensuring that city trees are in the right place and don't obstruct city infrastructure," he told this publication on Saturday.

He urged city dwellers to keep their animals safe to prevent stray animals from destroying city greenery.