LOCAL government minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire has halted the imminent move by Kampala City Council (KCC) to close down over 60 commercial buildings without parking space.
KCC had given the landlords an ultimatum of 28 days to rectify the anomaly.
The council said the landlords altered building plans and converted parking space into shops.
The city authorities were acting on a directive by the minister, who last December warned of sacking engineers who issued permits for substandard structures.
In a January 24 letter to the acting town clerk, Ruth Kijjambu, and copied to the Mayor, Nasser Ntege Sebaggala, the minister retracted the directive.
â€œI hereby direct you to recall the public notice and ensure that all existing buildings be left as they are, since they are deemed to have been built under the supervision of your officials,â€ he said.
Otafiire said for those buildings under construction, KCC should get in touch with the stakeholders and come up with guidelines.
He asked the council to decide which plots in the city should have parking space, depending on their size and location.
Otafiire, however, said the directive did not affect the installation of fire fighting gadgets and fire alarms, which he said were of paramount importance.
â€œI received a letter from the developers through the Kampala City Tradersâ€™ Association (KACITA) on January 15 in reaction to the said notice. The developers were expressing pertinent issues, which call for analysis before we take further action,â€ the letter read.
Otafiire said the developers complained that the problem emanated from the nature of the plots and their location.
They also said the structures were built under the supervision of building inspectors.
The buildings were issued with occupation permits by KCC officials, they said, adding that some tenants had paid rent for five years.
â€œThe directive is likely to cause a lot of animosity in the city,â€ Otafiire said.
â€œDevelopers have genuine reasons. We need to address them before we implement the directive. It will negatively impact on the council if the developers proceed to challenge our actions in courts of law,â€ he added.
Otafiire asked the town clerk to convene a meeting with the stakeholders.
â€œThe meeting will enable us internalise the issues raised to come up with a solution to the matter without causing unnecessary friction,â€ he said.
KACITA general secretary Issa Ssekitto said: â€œMany developers think the Government should relocate the city and start one that is well-planned other than this one which has problems that hinder planning.â€
KCC revoked on buildings without parking