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Naguru Tenants Reject Shs40bn Gov’t Offer, Want Shs87bn Compensation

Francis Mutabazi, the owner of Seven Hills Apartments (in a black mask) with his lawyer before the Adhoc Committee of Parliament.

Former tenants of Nakawa-Naguru have rejected the  Shs40.562bn compensation offer by Government which would see each tenant get Shs17.797M.

They are instead demanding that the money be increased to Shs50M as compensation for lost land and property.

While appearing before the Adhoc Committee on Nakawa-Naguru, Simon Barigo, Chairperson Naguru-Nakawa Registered Tenants Association described as handouts the Shs17m offer in compensation saying it doesn’t cater for the market prices of land and inflation in the current times.

“They should expedite the process of compensating the former sitting tenants with Shs50M as opposed to the discussions they held in cabinet of Shs17.797M. We are praying to Government, if this money can’t be released, we demand for 30acres of land so that we can develop with our own resources,” Barigo said.

On 15th October 2007, Ministry of Local Government, signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Contract with Opecprime Properties for the redevelopment of Naguru/ Nakawa Housing estate into two Ultra-Modern Satellite Towns through the construction of modern, residential, commercial and institutional properties and premises.

The project entailed the construction of 1747 modern subsidized dedicated residential units for the purchase by and resettlement of the registered tenants of the Nakawa/ Naguru Housing Estate and the developer was meant to complete the project within 10years and if not, the land would revert back to government as it did.

In another set of documents, Ministry of Kampala and Capital City Affairs expressed interest to compensate the former occupants requesting for Shs40,562,906,617 for payment of the 1,971 sitting tenants. Of this money, Shs35.078Bn was to be spent on compensation of 1,971 sitting tenants while Shs5.484Bn would cover administrative costs.

Barigo faulted Cabinet of failing to explain exhaustively how they arrived at that figure, and treating the tenants as people who were receiving handouts arguing that the Shs17M offer is no longer attainable even five years down the road, the land value should be revised.

“We think they were just thinking about the handouts to former sitting tenants which is very wrong. We have all legal claims on that piece of land, there are 33 estates allover Uganda and all the 33 estates the sitting tenants have bought them off and they are the ones occupying them and they are never evicted, Nakawa was an exception. We feel disenfranchised, we think our proprietorship rights were denied and we feel we weren’t equally treated as Ugandans,” explained Barigo.

Agnes Apea (DWR Amolatar) said the issue of naguru has gained prominence because it is occurring in Kampala, yet there are many such evictions happening in other parts of the country especially in rural places and wondered why should be done for tenants who accepted the earlier compensation.

She said, “You need to tell us what exactly must be done for tenants who accepted to be paid Shs17M and now they are asking for Shs50M or 30acres of land at the same time saying if they are given this land, they can develop it. It really doesn’t make sense.”

Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West) replied saying that although Government promised Shs17M prompting former tenants to accept the money begrudgingly, the money didn’t come as promised, prompting the former tenants to revise the terms like inflation.

“The tenants aren’t dictating, they are only saying Government should be understanding of them. This was made by Government many years ago and that promised over the years hasn’t been fulfilled and they are saying that now that a lot of time has passed, and there are many factors, they aren’t denying what they signed, no, they are simply saying because of the many factors that have since happened the time that has passed, we are putting in a request to be understood,” said Ssenyonyi.

During an earlier investigation into the Naguru-Nakawa mess, controversy arose after the developer failed to deliver on the project within the stipulated 10years and further, the Ministry of Local Government tabled list with variations in number of beneficiaries indicating 2,223 former sitting tenants before amending the list to 1,971.

 

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