What you need to know:
- However, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, criticised the move to hoard off plots at the Old Taxi Park.
Government is seeking funds to compensate at least 13 individuals and companies, who own plots on the periphery of the Old Taxi Park, the Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) deputy executive director, Mr David Luyimbazi, said yesterday.
Mr Luyimbazi also said KCCA and the landlords met on Tuesday and the latter agreed to surrender the contested plots of land.
“We told them that they deserve compensation but they need to patiently bear with us as we look for the money because the institution is currently cash-strapped due to the shockwaves of Covid-19 which significantly affected revenue,” Mr Luyimbazi said without giving the exact figure of the compensation.
Mr Luyimbazi also said the hoarding fence, which had been built around the subleased plots on Sunday, has been removed and taxi stages restored.
He made the revelation shortly after the council meeting at City Hall.
Councillors had earlier challenged the technical team on the authenticity of ownership of the contentious plots in the park and how the impasse will be resolved.
This newspaper yesterday quoted a report by the executive secretary of physical planning, Mr Hakim Kiiza Saula, which indicated that the plots were subleased to different business people and companies by the defunct Kampala City Council (KCC) for five years in February 2005, thereby reducing the carpet area of the park to about 2.34 acres.
In June 2010, the subleases were extended for another five years. But there has been wrangles over ownership since then with the tycoons threatening to repossess the land.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on Sunday said the tycoons deserve no compensation since the land was acquired illegally.
While addressing council yesterday, Mr Lukwago accused KCCA’s technical team of watching the tycoons hoard off the Old Taxi Park yet they had no approved plans.
“The KCCA management acted in unreasonable manner in allowing those ‘city tycoons’ to proceed with the said illegal operations and cordoning off part of the Taxi Park without even having approved plans or a hoarding permit and also circumventing the city executive committee,” Mr Lukwago said.
He also condemned the security agencies who manned the plots as they were being hoarded off.
Councillors warned the technical team against compensation, saying it is illegal.
“The compensation is illegal because the tycoons don’t own any land in the Old Taxi Park. We want them to first show us documents of the transactions before they move to compensate them,” Mr Saula said.
However, Mr Luyimbazi said there is a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between KCCA and the tycoons regarding redevelopment and operations of the Old Taxi Park.
He said they would not be derailed from implementing government programmes.