Judicial commision transfers offices from cracked building

Lotis Towers that has been housing a number of government offices, including the Judicial Service Commission. PHOTOS / ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The building has been condemned by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) and the Ministry of Works following a compression failure of a concrete column on the 6th floor.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is relocating its offices from Lotis Tower building in Kampala due to construction defects .

The building has been condemned by the National Building Review Board (NBRB) and the Ministry of Works following a compression failure of a concrete column on the 6th floor.

Dr Rose Nassali Lukwago, the Secretary to the JSC, yesterday said they were taking the advice of the building experts to vacate the premises.

According to the emergency assessment report by the Works ministry, the cracks had been noticed about one month ago.

“We have asked the non-core staff to stay at home and maybe this may ease pressure on the building and also should anything happen, the casualties will be minimised,” Dr Nassali said last evening.

 Roko Construction Ltd, the company that built the 14-level office block on Mackinnon Road in Nakasero-Kampala, last evening said the cracks should not cause alarm.

Mr Bernard Muhangi, the spokesperson of Roko Construction Ltd, said: “The cracks are merely on the surface and on one of the more than 300 pillars. What you are seeing in pictures were hammer tests done by the Works ministry engineers to ascertain the cause of the plaster cracks. They also broke the concrete to reach the rebars,  which is why it looks bad.  So surface cracks on pillars cannot be a major concern,” Mr Muhangi said.

An erected pillar to support the infrastructure.

On Wednesday, KCCA director of engineering and technical services Jacob Byamukama wrote to Lotigo Properties Ltd ordering all occupants to vacate the building pending a fit-for-reocupation assessment and inspection.

However Daily Monitor understands that a cracked surface of the affected pillar has since been fixed pending KCCA investigation

On August 15, the Works ministry, in its emergency assessment report on the building, ordered for immediate evacuation of tenants on the building, after one of the pillars cracked.

“Given that the column that triggered the concern is located on the 6th, yet there are four floors above, as a precautionary measure, it is advisable that the facility is vacated with immediate effect for safety of the users, pending further investigations,” read in part the report by the Works ministry signed off by Mr Edward Ssimbwa on behalf of the ministry’s permanent secretary.

BUILDINGS BOARD

The National Building Review Board on Wednesday recommended that the occupants of the building vacate so that an assessment can be done.

“The NBRB has recommended the evacuation of the building for safety while a comprehensive structural integrity assessment of the entire building is conducted to inform the next actions to be taken,” read in part the statement.

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