WORK on a controversial building project in Kampala has ceased after the President intervened. The President directed that construction work at 43 Spring Road, Bugolobi stop forthwith while its impact on the environment is determined.
This property and its developer, Nterenfune General Enterprises, have been at the centre of controversy for months. Nterenfune was cited as a culprit in the wanton acquisition of land in the city by a commission of inquiry early this year.
The plot has variously been said to be a buffer zone between a then strategic coffee factory and a big residential district, a greenbelt, and a drainage receptacle. It is said to serve surface and underground drainage for the Nakivubo Swamp in a hilly area. It is also said to house public utilities like water and sewerage lines, which is why trees were planted on it to allow for easy access at maintenance.
Whatever the true status, what has alarmed the public is the numerous contradictory statements made by various centres of power and authority. The inquiry, commissioned by the Minister of Local Government, recommended in February that the greenbelt be restored and that the technical officers in government and KCC who allocated the land, together with Nterenfune, be punished.
The Town Clerk ordered that construction stop, but a few months later it resumed. The new mayor also intervened to stop the building work, which did for a few days, but then an officer in charge of the underprivileged at State House wrote to say that Nterenfune had a legal land title and an approved plan, and should be allowed to develop it. The Mayor then contacted the President.
In the meantime, the trees on the plot had been cut down and concrete and mortar came up at a fast pace. It should now be sorted out conclusively, without any further contradiction.
Sort out these contradictions