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Uganda Railways won't pay ex-workers

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd September 2011 03:00 AM

UGANDA Railways Corporations (URC) has ruled out the possibility of compensating former employees and sitting tenants currently on its land at Nsambya and Port Bell.

By Mary Karugaba and Moses Walubiri

UGANDA Railways Corporations (URC) has ruled out the possibility of compensating former employees and sitting tenants currently on its land at Nsambya and Port Bell.

URC Managing Director Emmanuel Lyamulemye told MPs on Commissions and State Enterprises that contrary to the tenants’ request; there is no chance that URC will compensate them.

“I am very reluctant to this plea of goodwill compensation by the tenants because it’s unattainable. There is no basis and will open a Pandora box. If Government is willing to pay them, I have no objection but as URC, there no chance,” he said.

Lyamulemye however said the Corporation will, on humanitarian ground, facilitate the exhuming and re-burying of the affected dead relatives. “This will only be done on condition that this assistance is given as they vacate the property,” he said.

He was appearing before the committee chaired by Patrick Amuriat to explain whether the tenants will be compensated or not.

The committee is handling a petition by former employees and sitting tenants of URC challenging the Government decision to sell 57 acres of URC land at Nsambya and Port Bell without advertising it or giving first priority to the sitting tenants.

The tenants have appealed to Parliament to stay the eviction orders which the buyers issued them. The tenants claim to have lived on the land for more than 30 years.

The tenants said they were never given first priority to purchase the land contrary to the law. Though their group, Uganda Railways Tenants Association, the tenants said they plan to develop the place into a modern satellite town.

According to documents tabled to the committee, the tenants said they plan to put up 100 flats of 16 units each, shopping malls and recreation facilities.

“Mr. chairman, if given the opportunity, our plan will create accommodation for 1600 families and will also create employment opportunities. We have the capacity to redevelop the place, “the Association chairman Isaac Ojok said.

They criticized Lyamulemye for ‘demining ‘them that they had no capacity to buy the land. They also said it was not right that the houses were dilapidated and unfit for human habitations.

“We have lived in these houses for years but we have never been informed that the houses we are living in are unfit for human habitation. Why now?” Ojok asked.

The MPs wondered why the tenants did not show interest when the properties were put up for sell.


Uganda Railways won't pay ex-workers

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