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KCC under mafia grip, says probe

By Vision Reporter

Added 7th February 2006 03:00 AM

THE chairman of the commission of inquiry into the sale, lease and purchase of land by Kampala City Council (KCC) yesterday said there is a mafia group within the management of the city, leading to gross irregularities in land allocations.

THE chairman of the commission of inquiry into the sale, lease and purchase of land by Kampala City Council (KCC) yesterday said there is a mafia group within the management of the city, leading to gross irregularities in land allocations.

By Fortunate Ahimbisibwe

THE chairman of the commission of inquiry into the sale, lease and purchase of land by Kampala City Council (KCC) yesterday said there is a mafia group within the management of the city, leading to gross irregularities in land allocations.

Presenting the report of the inquiry to Local government minister Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, Prof. James Katorobo said there is widespread abuse of office by KCC and public officers in the execution of their duties.

“Unscrupulous businessmen that can be likened to the famous mafia have formed a syndicate with KCC officials to steal from it. Major tenders are a monopoly of this group. You will find their hands in almost every questionable transaction,” he said.

He added, “To say that there is corruption and influence peddling would be an understatement. There is a mafia network, an investigating authority should take it up.”

The report recommended that allocation of the Kyadondo Rugby Club plots be revoked.

Although the report does not mention Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya’s name, it has recommended that Kyadondo Rugby Club plots, which were allocated to non-sporting activities in the area, be revoked immediately.

But Bukenya and former vice-president Specioza Kazibwe are listed among the people who leased plots and failed to pay KCC.
All the commissioners, Paul Sagala, Daniel Bwanika, Charles Odere and Issa Gumonye signed the report.

Katorobo said the government should act immediately.
“The irregular allocations have resulted in beneficiaries trying to put up structures quickly before they are stopped. Even in the case in which this commission gave directives for cessation of construction until this report is out, the so-called developers have continued with their harmful projects,” the report said.

Katorobo also said KCC had abused tender and procurement regulations. “The so-called developers have been handpicked without any due regard to any strategic design guidelines. In some cases, a single developer is picked without competitive bidding,” he said.

The commission also discovered that all school land in Kampala had been put under the same title, prompting Kabwegyere to say, “The person who did this will be prosecuted. Kampala has entered a new era today with this report. There shall be no more tampering of public land.”

The commission recommended that a separate probe be conducted in respect to the operations, finances, personnel and administration and a review of the ‘obsolete’ laws. The report implicated KCC education officer, Kezaala Muwonge, in acquiring Plot 40A Windsor Crescent, Kololo when he was not a sitting tenant and former principal town clerk Peter Wegulo, plot 39 Lithuli Drive, Bugolobi.

Kabwegyere said the Government would study the report and act in public interest. “We shall use the available channels to make sure that the law prevails. The harsh reality of the law will prevail. KCC has been kidnapped by some force, which has no concept of tomorrow. We are dealing with a cancer that is eating up the city. We must stop them,” he said.

The commission also recommended that the controversial service lane between Kampala pentecostal Church and Sure House on Bombo Road be established. “The service lane should continue to exist because it is more relevant and useful than it was before,” it said.

The commission also cleared allegations that Kampala mayor John Ssebaana Kizito had closed an access road to Kisingiri Road.

About Nterenfune Enterprises, the commission noted, “The commission encountered a developer, Nterenfune Enterprises, who has specialised in grabbing road reserves. Nterenfune is at the centre of two controversial sites, Plot 43 Green Belt, Luthuli Avenue, a traffic island opposite Arua Park, the corridor between William Street and Ben Kiwanuka Street. In all the controversial sites, Nterenfune appears capable of getting all approvals with ease.

“Even when this commission’s findings convinced the Town Clerk to issue a directive to order Nterenfune to stop, the response was defiance. When the state Police were deployed, he deployed his own private armed guards.

When this commission visited the green belt and took a video recording of the trees and issued an order to halt his activities, he responded by cutting down over 1,000 trees that night. We have recommended that this action on the part of the promoters of Nterenfune be taken up by Police with a view of prosecution.”

KCC under mafia grip, says probe

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