A chunk of the Nsambya Police barracks land belongs to the Catholic Church, the Inspector General of Police said yesterday.
Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura said part of the land, on which the barracks currently sits, was leased by the church to the Police.
â€œNot all that land belongs to Police. Some of it was leased to Police by (the then) Catholic Diocese of Nsambya,â€ Kayihura said.
The Government, citing security concerns, recently proposed that Nsambya barracks, one of the largest Police barracks in the region and currently housing about 7,000 families, be relocated in a swap deal with an investor, which triggered a rush from investors.
Kayihura did not say how much of the barracks land belongs to the church and the duration of the lease.
But sources yesterday said the recent developments over the land had not gone down well with the Catholic Church, which argued that should the barracks be relocated, the part leased out to Police should revert to the church.
Kayihura refuted media reports that the Nsambya barracks land had been handed over to city property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia.
He said he had never met Sudhir over the matter and neither had Sudhir formally expressed interest in the land, which is now before a committee chaired by the director of the Special Branch, Juventine Odoket.
â€œIt is for some of these reasons (part of the land not being ours) that the matter is before the committee,â€ Kayihura said.
Apparently displeased with the story, he dismissed yesterdayâ€™s report in The Red Pepper as a figment of the writerâ€™s imagination.
â€œI have never met Sudhir over the land and neither has Odoket. No surveyors of Sudhir have been to the land so I find that report crazy.
It is a figment of the writerâ€™s imagination,â€ Kayihura said, adding that Police headquarters would later issue a press release on the matter.
He said given that part of the land did not belong to the Police, there was no way the land would be given out through behind the scenes negotiations.
He said when the time was due, the relocation of the barracks and allocation of the land would be done â€œin a very transparent manner.â€
â€œI know that the National Housing and Construction Corporation and some firms from the USA, Iran and South Africa had expressed interest but Sudhir had not,â€ he said.
â€œBut I also got communication that (city tycoon Hassan) Basajjabalaba had also expressed interest to expand his university,â€ Kayihura said but hastened to add that Basajjabalabaâ€™s interest had not been communicated formally.
The Red Pepper yesterday reported that Sudhir was poised to acquire the land and turn it into a modern housing estate and was expected to pay the government sh20b for it.
It said Sudhir had held a meeting with Kayihura to discuss the land and the relocation of the barracks.
Church owns part of Nsambya land