"...We are currently working towards legal reforms to overcome this problem,” said Musumba.
The minister of state for urban development, Isaac Musumba has assured Ugandans that the government will soon introduce effective laws to enforce proper urban planning.
“It is true we have had serious weaknesses in the law and the institutions that oversee the implementation of our urban development programmes. This is why challenges like political patronage have been prevailing and fuelling infrastructure illegality. We are currently working towards legal reforms to overcome this problem,” said Musumba.
He was making his submission during a workshop on urban development at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday. The workshop was organised by the ministry of lands, housing and urban development, and a team of urban developers from Malaysia.
It was intended to solicit views of urban development planners and stake-holders on the proposed Nakigalala Satellite Town project, to be implemented at Nakigalala Tea Estate in Wakiso district.
Norliza Hashim, the Director of Malaysian Incorporated Services Berhad, explained that the project, after implementation, will benefit all Ugandans, regardless of their social class.
“We have a rich experience which will help us to implement this project satisfactorily. The project will be inclusive, taking into account the interests of the rich and the poor. Environmental concerns will also be catered for.”
Norliza said that the new satellite town will contribute to the realization of the sustainable development goals. She also said that the new satellite town would increase opportunities for jobs, education and environment conservation. She explained that the project would be implemented by the ministry of lands, housing and urban development, the Malaysian urban developers and Wakiso district.
During the deliberations, various people expressed concern about the unplanned development that even superseded planned development.
Paulo Magimbi, a physical planner, called on government to come out more strongly on proper physical planning and compliance enforcement. He also asked government to address the challenge of mushrooming slums in the city. Magimbi later put it to KCCA, to do adequate urban planning instead of limiting itself to approving building plans.
“Many times our massive urban plans are not subjected to planning. We need coordination to achieve integrated planning. Bodies like UNRA, NEMA, KCCA, the lands ministry, etc, need to work in coordination to ensure sustainable urban development,” he said
The Commissioner for Physical Planning at the ministry of lands, housing and urban development, Vincent Byendaimira, asked Ugandans to be positive about new ideas and innovations.
Local urban planning experts like John Berch Barugahare (Makerere University), Dr Steven Apele (Makerere University) and Engineer Alfred Obong Area also graced the consultative workshop.