MPs investigating the controversy surrounding Centenary Park on Thursday ordered for the demolition of illegal structures to pave way for the construction of government projects.
MPs stilting on the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) heard that some buildings were illegally constructed on top of water pipes.
While issuing the order, Abdu Katuntu, the COSASE Chairman said the impasse involving Nalongo Estates Ltd (NEL) that is owned by Sarah Kizito, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has seen tax payers lose close to Shs1bn, a thing that must come to a stop to save further hemorrhage of public funds.
“Those structures must be demolished. The contention on who bears the cost, the parties can claim from court. Police must make sure there is security when the illegal structures are being evicted,” Katuntu said.
The meeting held at Parliament was attended by Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, KCCA Executive Director Jenifer Musisi, NWSC Executive Director, Eng. Silver Mugisha and former Kampala Central LCIII Chairperson, Godfrey Nyakana, wife to Sarah Kizito.
Kayihura was summoned by MPs to answer quarries surrounding the security of Centenary Park after it was revealed that Nyakana has been organizing goons to obstruct Government officials from accessing the premises.
NWSC has contracted an international firm to lay over 30km of sewerage pipe line to serve areas of Serena, Kololo among others.
The Corporation has revealed that Shs100m is lost daily because Nalongo Estates has barred the contractor from accessing the sites, claiming ownership of the property yet her lease expired.
In his defense, Nyakana denied any actions to bar NWSC from accessing the site.
“I do consent that NWSC should come and work, we have no problem against any Government institution. There are some few structures that are on top the pipes,” Nyakana said, urging KCCA to conduct the eviction with civility. Kayihura pledged to issue security during the eviction process.
Investigations that kicked off on Tuesday are to fulfill a request by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja, asking Parliament to investigate the matter.
The Committee is expected to report back to Parliament in 10 days.
According to Mulyagonja, the controversy surrounding Centenary Park has resulted into three public projects stalling, but her office doesn’t have the mandate to investigate the matter owing to the fact that Nalongo Estates Limited is a private company.
The company is embroiled in a battle with KCCA over failure by the latter to renew lease for the former to manage Centenary Park.
KCCA claims that the lease and management executed with the company in question expired in May 2016, and the company owners should have vacated the premises by December 31st 2016.
However, Sarah Kizito has continued with business as usual regardless of the Court orders demanding that she hands over the property to KCCA.
On May16 2006, the then KCC and Nalongo Estates Limited executed a management agreement to keep the park as a green open/public space, but the latter allegedly breached the contract by constructing temporary structures.
Consequently, KCCA terminated the contract on June26, 2012, but Nalongo Estates dragged the Authority to Arbitration Tribunal in September 2013. It won the case and was awarded Shs732.5m in damages.