Centenary park no more, buildings are being demolished

The much anticipated demolition of structures at Centenary Park in Kampala is underway.

The demolition comes days after a directive by parliaments committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE to pave way for the construction of a booster pumping station by National Water and Sewerage Corporation-NWSC.

The work is part of a bigger project which includes an interconnection with the low level system in Nakasero, laying a new 5km transmission line from Centenary Park to Naguru Reservoir and installation of a booster station at Centenary Park.

The booster station is expected to add 6 million liters of water per day to the Naguru Reservoir and boost supply to parts of Ntinda, Bukoto, Kisaasi, Kulambiro, Najjera, Kyanja, Kungu and Buwate, all suburbs of Kampala.

Tenants at the park are racing against time to clear properties from the structures in the presence of a team of police personnel and SOGEA contractors, the company implementing the project on behalf of National Water.

Four popular restaurants were this morning razed, according to our reporter on the site. They include Choma, Blue Africa bar, Best Chinese Restaurant and Indian Restaurant.



KCCA Councillors move motion to name a city road after late Sebaana

By Robert Segawa
The KCCA council has passed a motion to have Nakivubo place road named after former mayor John Ssebaana Kizito.
During an extra ordinary  sitting to commemorate his life, the KCCA council led by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago resolved that the road be named after him for his services to the city.
The council highlighted his efforts that led to the construction of Nakivubo channel where the road partly passes.
The road runs from Entebbe road roundabout (near Usafi Market) via Container village and stop at the junction to Namirembe road.
Ssebaana died of stroke in Monday and will be laid to rest on Saturday.

KCCA to enforce tax collection on city residential houses

Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA wants owners of private residential houses in the city to resume paying property tax. Jennifer Musisi, The KCCA Executive Director, says the property tax waiver on private residential houses costs the Authority over US$ 1.3 million dollars annually.
According to Musisi, almost all the owners of houses in upscale parts of the city are not paying property tax, claiming they occupy them. Musisi says owners of multiple houses in the City avoid paying the property rates by claiming that they reside in the houses yet they rent them out. Previously, almost all the owners of the residential houses use to pay property rates.
However, during the 2006 presidential election campaigns President Yoweri Museveni, said those staying in the houses should be exempted. As a result, the Local Government Act was amended to cater for exemption.
The Local Government Act 2005 and its amendments of 2006 also exempts official residence of the President, a traditional or cultural leader and property used exclusively for public worship, and residences of a religious leader from property tax.
KCCA with funding from World Bank has embarked on automation of property rates management targeting to register over 250,000 properties from the 120,000 properties registered. The Authority expects to collect seventeen million dollars annually from property rates.
Musisi says the Authority also plans to carry out a fresh valuation exercise in the city, saying the last valuation was carried out ten years ago. She says many of the newly constructed malls and houses are not paying the property rates because they have not been valued.


KCCA hands tied over Naguru-Shimoni development delays

Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi says her Authority is concerned over delays in completion of the much anticipated Nakawa-Naguru and Shimoni projects.

The Nakawa-Naguru Project involves the planned redevelopment of the Naguru-Nakawa Housing Estate into an ultra-modern satellite town within the Capital City of Kampala. The houses covering 66 hectares of land were to be constructed under a Public-Private Partnership between government and a private developer- Opec Prime Properties.

The other project was the planned construction of a modern complex at the former Shimoni Primary School land in Kampala. Although, the school was hurriedly demolished ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007, the project remains incomplete.

Musisi and her team acknowledged before the Lands Inquiry Commission that the two projects are behind the schedule. She however said KCCA has no powers to order investors to return the land which was allocated to them close to ten years ago.

Musisi says the Authority is powerless over the deals because Uganda Land Commission then offered the project developer a 99-year lease for the property.

Musisi says there are a lot of aspects which the developer is yet to fulfill with KCCA but the Authority is not able to reenter the land because it was leased by Uganda Land Commission. She says OPEC prime Properties submitted aspects of the project which KCCA approved but it has not yet submitted its master plan almost ten years since it entered the project.

Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the probe commission asked whether KCCA would not take action based on factors like when the desolate buildings therein have become a hazard or a security hazard because of the over grown bush like it is now.

KCCA Director Legal Affairs, Mike Okua said choices on whether government should take over the project have to be made by government.

KCCA Director for Physical Planning, Moses Atwine told the Commission of Inquiry that the Shimoni Developer was also granted a 99-year lease. Atwine says if they had been granted the five initial years, then KCCA in circumstances that it were the controlling Authority would review the lease agreement. He says that in this case, the mandate falls back to Uganda land Commission.

The two examples are part of the many complaints that Kampala Capital City Authority has against Uganda Land Commission regarding allocation of public land in Kampala. Musisi says the Authority lost Nabagereka Primary School and other prime pieces of land in Kampala because of mistakes emanating from Uganda Land Commission.

The Uganda land Commission according to Jennifer Musisi has been involved in double allocation of plots and has turned public school land into a “bank of plots” for issuance to individuals without consulting Ministry of Education and her Authority.



KCCA: Court summons landlords

By Sania Babirye

City Hall Court grade one magistrate Moses Nabende has summoned four landlords in Kampala to explain why their buildings within Kampala city are in a dilapidated, filthy and unsanitary state.

This is after state led by Richard Kumbuga asked court to have Betty Musuubo, Nickson Kakeeto, Arthur Sserunkuma and Sulaiman Kibirige explain why the buildings are maintenance in such a sorry state.

These have been summoned to appear in Court on the 2nd of June 2017 to answer the offences of causing or suffering a nuisance to exist and failure to comply with nuisance notices served to them by KCCA public health team.

The most affected houses are in Kisenyi-Kiganda zone in the Kampala City.

Prosecution states that such dilapidated, unsanitary and filthy buildings put the lives of occupants at a health risk.

Photo Credit: UG Christian News

Building owners to be taxed by KCCA

By Robert Segawa

With effective from 1 May this year Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is going to start collecting  property tax from 15,196 business building in central division of Kampala.

In January 2015 KCCA started moving around Kampala central visiting and evaluating buildings and their businesses so that they start collecting tax accordingly.

The chairman evaluation court at KCCA Hon Asuman Basalirwa while addressing the journalists at city hall today said that the owners of buildings were given evaluation bills 25 days back.  They were  asked to bring their views about the evaluations given before the start of tax collections but only 170 people have brought their complaint.

Basalirwa adds that they only charge business buildings living only State house. Registered worship places, cultural leader houses, embassy houses and residential houses are exempted from tax.

Bassalirwa continues that they are not giving any extension days because building owners were given enough time to complain.

He said that they expected to collect 30 billion within next financial year.


New traffic lights have cameras that will help curb traffic offenders

The modern traffic lights installed on newly constructed roads in Kampala will boost the ability of the Uganda Police Force to monitor and arrest errant drivers who disregard traffic laws.

The traffic lights were equipped with cameras and computers that capture and record data.
As the traffic lights turn red the system becomes active and any vehicle passing over the sensor in the road after this time is snapped.

“For those who don’t stop, violate or commit any offence around traffic lights, we shall get you even after a year. We have computers that can keep data for over a year,” Dr Stephen Kasiima, the director of traffic and road safety said.

His revelation came after the commissioning of the newly reconstructed Kira Road which has been expanded from a two-lane road to a four-lane road. Three signalized traffic light junctions have been fixed along the road. One of the traffic lights is situated at the foot of Kira road, adjacent to Kira road police station, another at a junction linking with Old Kira road and one at the Bukoto-Kisaasi road Junction.

Each set of these traffic lights has control centre where cars, motorcycles and people walking along the road can be monitored on computers. Solar street lights have also been installed along the road.

Kasiima said pictures captured by the cameras at traffic lights are clear and don’t need any other evidence to arrest and prosecute law offenders.

Kampala Capital City authority Executive Director Jennifer Musisi says that 8.4 billion Shillings was spent on the reconstruction of the road, which was expanded after the eviction of craftsmen, florists and kiosks initially operating in the area.

A traffic Control Centre has also been set up at the KCCA offices to monitor what is happening along the newly reconstructed roads, according to Musisi. The center will integrate the new traffic-light network at 33 junctions, some of which are still under construction.

“At city hall we can see how traffic is moving along Kira road. I can be in my office and put on my computer to see what is happening. If we see that cars are many at certain junction, we can re-adjust rate at which traffic lights stops can or allows them to go,” she said.

The ongoing road works are part of the Second phase of Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project-KIIDP II implemented by Kampala Capital City Authority. The project is worth USD 183.7 Million. Other roads under construction include Makerere Hill Road, Mambule Road (Bwaise), Bwaise Junction and Bakuli-Nakulabye-Kasubi.




KCCA enforcement team has impounded 30 commercial salon vehicles

By Robert Ssegawa

Kampala capital city authority enforcement team has impounded 30 commercial salon vehicles in a morning crackdown on tax defaulters.

Simon Kabanda the head operations KCCA said today’s in the City Center, Wandegeya and in Kamwokya saw 14 taxis and 16 special hire cars impounded for lack of o KCCA stickers to confirm that they had paid the authority dues.

He says some drivers managed to clear dues using Pay way and   salvaged their vehicles. The rest of impounded vehicles have been taken to KCCA parking lot..

Photo: Twitter

KCCA impounds public passenger vehicles over tax defaulting

By Robert Ssegawa
Kampala Capital City Authority enforcement team has impounded 30 commercial salon vehicles in a morning crackdown on tax defaulters.
Simon Kabanda the head operations KCCA said today’s operation in the City Center,  Wandegeya and  in Kamwokya saw 14  taxis and 16 special hire cars impounded for lack of o KCCA stickers to confirm that they had paid the authority dues.
He says some drivers managed to clear dues using Pay way and   salvaged their vehicles. The impounded vehicles have been  taken to KCCA parking lot..

Usafi leaders say market could only take in 856 out of 1292 who applied to get stalls

A total of 427 vendors from the demolished Park Yard market have failed to secure space in Usafi Market, a facility initially acquired by Kampala Capital City Authority to absorb vendors from the city streets.

The market, adjacent to the clock tower, a few minutes from the city centre, in Kampala Central Division was adjusted to accommodate up to 5,000 vendors. However, it had 3,500 occupied stalls at the time of the controversial demolition of Nakivubo Park Yard Market.

Peter Kivumbi, the chairperson of Usafi Market Traders Association told Uganda Radio Network that they received applications from 1,292 vendors but only managed to get stalls for 865 vendors. He added that 427 genuine applicants could not be taken on; while another 300 other applicants were rejected for disguising themselves as Park Yard traders.

The stalls were allocated on Monday after nearly two weeks of waiting.

“In our findings, we learnt that people who came here to apply for stalls but have never been vendors. Other vendors have been allocated space at Ham Shopping Mall and they also wanted space here. We detected them and rejected their applications,” he said.

He said Usafi market leadership will allocate 40 stalls to disabled vendors who came from Park Yard market within this week. Kivumbi said the disabled vendors were a bit unsystematic and delayed to submit their application forms.

“We have just received their applications. They brought their forms last week on Wednesday and we asked them to come back this week, Kivumbi said.

Park Yard started in 1980s as a vending place for people with disabilities supported by local leaders. When city authorities embarked on a massive exercise to evict vendors from Kampala Streets, they found it easy to relocate themselves to the yard, adjacent to Nakivubo stadium since the place was open and being occupied by few disabled people.