She clarified that UNRA is not party to the court case between Daudi Chwa family and the Kabaka
Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has clarified that it has not sued the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II over a chunk of land required for the construction of the Kampala - Jinja expressway.
In a statement sent to New Vision today, UNRA executive director, Allen Kagina clarified that the application filed by the roads' authority last week was in line with an agreement they had reached on with the Kabaka, the Buganda Land Board and the Daudi Chwa family.
UNRA was responding to story: "UNRA sues Kabaka" published in New Vision yesterday. The story said UNRA had sued Buganda royals including Kabaka Mutebi over the land dispute that has stalled the Kampala-Jinja Expressway project.
Kagina explained that in the process of implementing the Jinja Expressway project, UNRA has to acquire land comprised in Kyadondo Block 273 and compensate the affected persons where the project traverses land. The land is occupied by over a thousand ‘Bibanja' owners.
However, the land in question is also subject of an ongoing protracted court dispute between the Kabaka, the Buganda Land Board, Daudi Chwa family members led by Prince Kalemera H. Kimera, Prince David Namugala Mawanda, Prince Moses Luswata, Princess Nalinya Nandaula and the commissioner land registration.
"On 10th August, 2017, Prince Kalemera H. Kimera secured a temporary order of injunction in the above suit, against Kabaka of Buganda and Buganda Land Board restraining them or their agents/servants or persons claiming under them from acquiring compensation payment from UNRA in respect of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway Project pending final determination of Civil Suit No. 535 of 2017 or until otherwise ordered. UNRA therefore stopped paying compensation over this land," Kagina explained.
"In the interest of the project, UNRA has sought court to vary the order to allow for paying the Bibanja holders to get out of the right of way and avail land for the road construction."
"We have engaged both Buganda Land Board and the family of the late Kabaka Daudi Chwa's family to seek consent to vary the temporary court injunction filed by Prince Harold Kalemera blocking UNRA from compensating Bibanja holders," Kagina explained.
"UNRA accordingly reached out to all the parties, held engagements with both Buganda Land Board and the Daudi Chwa family to seek their concurrence to vary the court injunction," she added.
"The parties did in principle agree to vary the order and have exuded support towards UNRA in implementing the project, UNRA is extremely grateful to both parties for their support to the project," Kagina said
She clarified that UNRA is not party to the court case between Daudi Chwa family and the Kabaka, but filed the application in court to "achieve variation of the court order."
"UNRA had to file an application against all the parties in the main suit who include the Kabaka of Buganda. It is this application that has been misconstrued and represented as a suit against the Kabaka," Kagina clarified.
Construction of the Kampala-Jinja expressway will cost an estimated $1.1b (sh3.9 trillion), according to the roads authority projections.
The expressway will start at Nakawa go through Namanve and Mukono and end at the New Jinja Bridge in Njeru. It will be a four-lane, dual carriageway expressway with limited access.
The section between Jinja and Kampala is the busiest and most congested road in Uganda. It is the main import/export route for land-locked Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DRC.
For a distance of 77km, it means the average cost per kilometre will be about $13m (sh46b), making it arguably the most expensive road project ever built in Uganda.