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Wednesday,August 12,2020 18:33 PM

Minister pleads to Kabaka over land

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th February 2010 03:00 AM

KIGO Prison cannot be shifted immediately from the Kabaka’s land because the money required to construct a new facility is not readily available, said internal affairs state minister Matia Kasaija.

KIGO Prison cannot be shifted immediately from the Kabaka’s land because the money required to construct a new facility is not readily available, said internal affairs state minister Matia Kasaija.

By Francis Kagolo

KIGO Prison cannot be shifted immediately from the Kabaka’s land because the money required to construct a new facility is not readily available, said internal affairs state minister Matia Kasaija.

Over sh45b is needed to relocate the prison, according to the head of prisons, Johnson Byabashaija. He said sh3b is required to purchase the 300-acre land identified in 2008 in Wakiso district and another sh42b for construction.

Plans to relocate Kigo Prison were drawn over three years ago but no funds have been secured so far from the Government, both the minister and the prisons boss told The New Vision.

“It was a 2006 directive from the President that we relocate the prison. We advertised and got some one offering us 300 acres of land at approximately sh10m per acre. We are yet to get the funds,” Byabashaija explained.

Kasaija asked the Kabaka to give them time until the issue is resolved. “The Kabaka needs to be patient with the Government. Where shall we move the prisoners to?” he asked.

He, however, agreed that the Government should act on the matter. “Since we have been occupying the land without paying, we can start paying in installments to secure the prison.”

Kasaija explained that for two years, his ministry has been including the issue of buying another plot for Kigo Prison in the national budget.

“We should have moved from that land about two years ago. We had identified another land in Entebbe but we have not had the ability to pay for it,” he noted.

Kigo Prison, which houses over 11,000 inmates, is sitting on 328 acres at the shores of Lake Victoria in Kyaddondo, Wakiso district.

The Kabaka, Ronald Mutebi, last month dragged the Government to court demanding over sh18b, with 20% interest, as compensation for “unlawfully occupying” the land. The land is part of the properties that were confiscated by the Obote government in 1966.

Through Ssekabojja and Company Advocates, the Kabaka also wants the court to force the Government to immediately vacate his land. The court has issued summons for the Attorney General, who has to file a defence within 15 days.

The Attorney General, Khiddu Makubuya, declined to comment on the matter but said he was ready to defend the Government.

He said the court will determine how much the Government owes the Kabaka in unpaid rent and compensation.

Established before independence, Kigo Prison is mainly used to keep criminals on capital offences, including treason and murder.

In October 2007, some members of Parliament were shocked to learn that the prison was stuck with 257 prisoners who had been on remand without trial for six years.

Minister pleads to Kabaka over land

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