Twist in Nakawa-Naguru estate land controversy

Nakawa East MP Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga (with a crutch) and Minister of State for Lands Sam Mayanja meet at the contested land in Nakawa, Kampala on February 23, 2022. Photo/Abubaker Lubowa

What you need to know:

The minister has halted all ongoing activities on the land by all parties for three months. 

The Minister of State for Lands, Mr Sam Mayanja, has asked Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to intervene in the deepening crisis over ownership of the Naguru-Nakawa land. 
The minister indicates that different companies are claiming ownership of sections of the land, despite lack of the President’s approval for reallocation. 
The February 23 letter to Ms Nabbanja came shortly after the minister’s visit to the site where he  halted any developments due to the disputes.

“The purpose of this letter is to request for your urgent intervention in this matter which has been raised several times on the floor of Parliament. I wish to suggest for starters… a meeting which should be attended by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Uganda Land Commission, Attorney General,” Mr Mayanja wrote. 

A day earlier, the minister had petitioned the acting chairperson of Uganda Land Commission over allegations of illegal allocation and issuance of multiple titles to different developers.  
According to the petition, Multi Consults Designs Limited, which was accorded 3 .3 acres on the land by a consent agreement with the Attorney General, accuses ULC of reallocating some plots of its potion to other developers that have since started vandalising their property and fencing off the area. 

According to a map, plots belonging to Multi Consults Designs Limited  were reallocated to other companies, including GASH, WASH, EACOM, Global and Fakhruddin. 
The five are among the 18 that Mr Mayanja had listed as beneficiaries of the land as addressed to President Museveni in November last year. 
Daily Monitor could not verify which of the said companies vandalised property belonging to Multi Consultz. 
Yesterday, this newspaper broke the news of plans by the ULC to reallocate 80 acres to private companies. 
The President, however, did not give the green light for the reallocation of the contentious land as requested by the minister, raising questions about who the developers are.

Government in 2019 repossessed the 80-acre piece of land from developer OpecPrime for failure to establish a Satellite City.  Consequently, the ULC was tasked with finding viable investors to develop the land
In a November 2021 letter, now disputed by senior Lands minister Judith Nabakooba, Mr Mayanja submitted a list of 18 developers that the ULC had vetted and approved for allocation of 50 acres of the land. 

The 25 acres would be allocated to the Uganda Heart Institute  (10)and Internal Medicine Virginia PC (15). Five acres are occupied by government institutions.  However, the President’s approval was missing. 
Mr Faruk Kirunda, the deputy Presidential Press Secretary, told Daily Monitor that the President had not responded to the letter from the minister seeking to give away the contentious land to private companies. 
Without it no one should be developing the land, except Multi Consults that was allowed to continue development by a consent agreement. 

Mr Mayanja, when asked, said he did not know the developers
We were unable to contact Mr Andrew Nyumba, the acting secretary, ULC, to whom the chairperson, Ms Beatrice Nyakaisiki Byenkya, referred us. 

The Nakawa-Naguru has been embroiled in controversy since 2007 when it was parcelled out to an investor Opec Prime Properties to construct a satellite city.
In 2018, Cabinet resolved that Opec Prime Properties Ltd contract with the Government be terminated after the company defaulted on its obligations and the land was repossessed by the Government through Uganda Land Commission (ULC).
Following the repossession, ULC agreed to reallocate the land to new developers.