By Moses Mulondo and Paul Kiwuuwa
Parliament’s physical infrastructure committee has directed that selling or allocation of the Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) land, houses and other properties should be stopped.
Part of this land that has been given to private developers is the 57 acres in Nsambya, which the Government’s valuer estimated to be worth sh70b.
State minister for finance (privatisation) Aston Kajara said the land was transferred to the Uganda Land Commission in 2011.
It has since been allocated to private developers.
Kajara said Cabinet discussed and approved the disposal of the land in Nsambya.
The committee was also informed that URC is currently selling off its estates in Gulu.
The MPs were also surprised to hear that several URC estates and plots of land in Luzira have also been recently sold off.
Gen. Katumba Wamala (UPDF MP) said it was improper for URC to sell off its properties when the Government is planning to revive the railway system in the country.
“As far as transport challenges are concerned in our country, we needed the restoration of railway transport as soon as yesterday.
The high volume of traffic on the roads necessitates that we have the railway system as soon as possible. But URC is just selling off its properties and we are not even sure where the money is going,” Katumba said.
Following a motion that was moved by Kiboga West MP Samuel Ssemugaba, all the MPs on the committee resolved that since the Government is planning to revive railways, no more selling off of the URC properties should take place.
The minister said the Executive would consider the concerns of the MPs and take appropriate action.