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Court halts termination of Nakivubo redevelopment agreements

By John Semakula

Added 1st February 2017 09:18 AM

The companies allege that they had already secured loans for the projects during which they incurred expenses to a tune of sh60b

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The companies allege that they had already secured loans for the projects during which they incurred expenses to a tune of sh60b

 

The High Court in Kampala has issued an interim order stopping the Board of Trustees of Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium (NWMS) from terminating the agreements it entered with three companies to redevelop the facility.

The interim order was issued by Justice Alex Ajiji, the deputy registrar of the civil division of the High Court in Kampala on January 18.

This followed a petition filed by the three companies, Futureland (U) Limited, Bestin Limited and Ntelenfulenfune Enterprises Limited seeking a temporary Court injunction against the board’s move to cancel the agreements.

Court ordered the Board of Trustees of NWMS to suspend any plans to cancel the agreements until the hearing and determination of the substantive application of a temporary application.

The two sides recently entered into a private-public partnership in which the companies were supposed to redevelop the stadium into a modern sports complex. Despite its strategic location in the central part of Kampala, the stadium has for decades remained underdeveloped.

Through their lawyers of Nakimuli & Co. Advocates, the companies allege that they learnt of the plan by the Board of Trustees of NWMS to cancel the agreements which they legally signed without giving them a right to be heard.

The companies allege that they had already secured loans for the projects during which they incurred expenses to a tune of sh60b. They warned NWMS Board to be ready to settle the bill in case the agreements are terminated.

New Vision saw a copy of the redevelopment Master Plan with the different projects which each of the three companies intended to construct at the facility.

There is also a copy of letter dated December 3rd which the Minister of State for Education and Sports, Charles Bakkabulindi signed clearing the companies’ redevelopment Master Plan.

“I am contented with the Master Plan because it has the necessary required facilities for a modern stadium,” Bakkabulindi said in the letter.  Sources within the board said NWMS is being forced to cancel the agreements after getting a better deal where the bidder is willing to pay a higher cost.    

When contacted for a comment about the developments, Bakkabulindi said he had just returned from Gabon where the Uganda Cranes team was playing in the African Cup of Nations and that he needed time to study the situation before commenting.

But New Vision learnt that the plan to terminate the agreements has split the NWMS board of trustees forcing its chairperson, Godfrey Mabirizi to resign.

Mabirizi was reportedly in favour of letting the three companies continue with their master plan but that when the matter was put to a vote during one of the recent board meetings and his side lost, he decided to quit.

In Mabirizi’s resignation letter to Bakabbulindi dated January 16, he stated that he was leaving office with immediate effect due to personal reasons and advised his successor and board members to have integrity, teamwork, respect and trust.

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