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KCCA, Mengo, Basajjabalaba, traders, clash over city abattoir

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th November 2014 05:00 PM

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Buganda Kingdom are each claiming ownership of the land occupied by the city abattoir, located on plots 1 and 3, on Old Port Bell Road, Kampala.

KCCA, Mengo, Basajjabalaba, traders, clash over city abattoir

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Buganda Kingdom are each claiming ownership of the land occupied by the city abattoir, located on plots 1 and 3, on Old Port Bell Road, Kampala.

By Brian Mayanja, Juliet Waiswa and Innocent Anguyo

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Buganda Kingdom are each claiming ownership of the land occupied by the city abattoir, located on plots 1 and 3, on Old Port Bell Road, Kampala.

Saturday Vision has learnt that following a dispute between the two parties, Kampala District Land Board (KDLB) has started to investigate who the true owner is.

“We are doing research to ascertain your complaint,” KDLB chairman, Yusuf Nsibambi wrote to Buganda Land Board this week.

Mengo government is claiming that the city abattoir is part of Buganda properties, which were confiscated in 1967 by the Milton Obote government.

“This land has since August 1, 2013 been returned to Buganda Kingdom,” said, Kyewalabye Male, the chief executive officer of Buganda Land Board, in an October 29 letter to KDLB.

The letter was copied to Baguma Isoke, the chairman of the Uganda Land Commission. KCCA, however, insisted that in June 2000, the defunct KCC acquired a 99-year lease from KDLB.

“A year later, KCC sub-leased the abattoir to a businessman, Hassan Basajjabalaba, at sh600m,” Charles Ouma, KCCA’s deputy legal director, explained.

Nsibambi said they have written to the Commissioner of Land Registration to establish if there was an error in the issuance of the lease.

“If we realise that it was an error, we shall immediately cancel the lease,” Nsibambi warned.

The land dispute comes at a time when KCCA is finalising the process to take over the abattoir from Basajjabalaba.

The city executive director, Jennifer Musisi, said they are repossessing the abattoir in order to restore sanity, hygiene and efficient management at the facility.

She added that the authority would have taken over the management of the abattoir long ago, but it had to consult the stakeholders.

Musisi’s remarks come after a government directive for KCCA to recover the abattoir with immediate effect.

The directive, issued by state minister for economic monitoring Henry Banyenzaki, ordered the authority to start collecting fees and dues from people operating in the abattoir.

Mengo pursues legal action

As Musisi and her team are planning to recover the facility, Buganda Kingdom is also pursuing legal means to recover its property.

Dennis Bugaya, the Buganda Land Board legal officer, said the lease which was issued to KCCA is null and void on grounds that the authority acquired it from a wrong authority — KDLB.

Saturday Vision has learnt that the Mengo government is also investigating circumstances under which there was alteration of plots on Old Port Bell Road, from Plot 42, to plots 1 and 3.

However, Ouma maintained that the alleged change of plot numbers is erroneous, adding that the two plots are located in different places. He explained that as per the cadastral print, Plot 42 is defined by Bell Close and Bell Road, located in Luzira, far away from Old Port Bell Road.

But in a letter copied to the KCCA executive director, Male wrote: “As a controlling authority for Buganda Kingdom and agent of the Kabaka, we appeal to you to prevail over all the interested parties not to interfere further with status, as we seek an amicable settlement.”

Central government speaks

It is still not clear whether the city abattoir is part of Buganda properties. This week, Peter Kaujju, the KCCA spokesperson, said the authority has the land title.

Ouma also maintained that the city abattoir is not among Buganda properties.

The Attorney General, Peter Nyombi, who heads the Cabinet sub-committee tasked with verifying Buganda’s properties, is also not aware whether the land belongs to Mengo Government.

“They should write to us to verify their claim. They have to give us the particulars of the property, in this case, the land title,” Nyombi said.

In August last year, the Government agreed to return Buganda Kingdom properties, following a signed memorandum of understanding to effect the transfer of properties.

The Government is planning to hand over another 82 land titles to the kingdom. The handover had been planned for October, but it was postponed by the President because of his busy schedule.

Meat traders seek lease

Meanwhile, meat traders have written to Buganda Land Board, asking for a lease on the same property.

Bugaya said they want the earlier lease to KCC and sub-lease granted to Basajjabalaba cancelled.

Mengo government plans to grant the lease to meat traders, who are the sitting tenants.

The traders are currently organised under City Abattoir Traders Development Association (CATDA).

In July, CATDA wrote to Buganda Land Board expressing interest in acquiring the leasehold title.
 

CATDA leader Wilberforce Mutesasira confirmed this development, adding that they would remit ground rent to the landlord.

He, however, said they were not ready to work under the management of Basajjabalaba’s company, adding that they would protest any move helping Basajjabalaba’s company to repossess the facility.

Banyenzaki, however, said the transfer of management of the abattoir to KCCA is aimed at resolving wrangles between CATDA and Basajjabalaba’s company.

For the last three years, Basajjabalaba has been in a prolonged legal battle with traders, after sub-leasing the facility to Dan Kwatampora, another businessman. According to traders, Kwatampora had planned to set up a bus terminal on the land.
 

KCCA, Mengo, Basajjabalaba, traders, clash over city abattoir

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