KAMPALA — State Minister for Lands Sam Mayanja has run to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja for rescue after his alleged mishandling of Nakawa-Naguru land deals backfired with stakeholders now becoming violent citing suspected foul play.
In a letter dated Wednesday, February 23, 2022 to the Prime Minister and describing the matter as “very urgent”, the embattled minister, who has been disowned by the senior minister Judith Nabakooba begs PM Nabbanja to call a meeting to sort the matter.
Mr. Mayanja begs the Prime Minister to compel among others the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Uganda Land Commission and the Attorney General to attend the meeting.
“I was today compelled to urgently intervene in the Nakawa-Naguru wrangles which were becoming violent. I managed to cool down tempers and Stakeholders agreed to stop all activities on Nakawa-Naguru land for three (3) months effective today, to allow Government to come up with a win-win solution for all,” Minister Mayanja wrote.
He added: “The purpose of this letter is to request for your urgent intervention in this matter which has been raised several times on the floor of Parliament”.
He says the proposed meeting would help to set the agenda for the further management of the Nakawa-Naguru issue.
The Nakawa-Naguru has been embroiled in controversy since 2007 when it was parcelled out to an investor Opec Prime Properties to construct a satellite city.
In 2018, Cabinet resolved that Opec Prime Properties Ltd contract with the Government be terminated after the company defaulted on its obligations and the land was repossessed by the Government through Uganda Land Commission (ULC).
Following the repossession, ULC agreed to reallocate the land to new developers.
In a letter November 2, 2021 letter to President Yoweri Museveni seeking guidance on the re-allocation of the Nakawa/Naguru land, the same minister Sam Mayanja laid out the details that indicate that cabinet had taken the decision to repossess the land in 2019 and that the Uganda Land Commission has been in the process of re-allocating the land to eligible investors.
Part of the land has been parcelled out through a presidential directive to have Internal Medicine of Virginia PC allocated 15 acres and Uganda Heart Institute allocated 10 acres.
The Presidential directive to give land to Internal Medicine of Virigina PC was made on 20th October 2019 when Museveni wrote to then Lands Housing and Urban Development Minister Betty Amongi.
“Sometime back I met our Ugandans of Arab origin who used to own Bismillahi Restaurant in Mbarara in the 1960s. Their children are specialised medical doctors who run several medical facilities in America. I convinced them to come to Uganda and establish a specialised hospital and nursing home, which they agreed to. They requested for part of the Nakawa-Naguru land to set up the facility,” Museveni wrote.
“Given the urgent need to stop medical tourism and enable access to affordable specialised treatment by Ugandans, I hereby, direct that you allocate 15 acres of the said land to Internal Medicine of Virginia P.C,” he directed.
There are institutions already on the land including Nakawa Division Offices, Naguru Infant Primary School, St. Peters Church of Uganda and Multi Consults Ltd among others that are catered for in the re-allocation.
In Mayanja’s letter to Museveni dated November 2, 2021, where he sought guidance on the Naguru land issue, he clearly stated that 18 companies had been allocated land by the Uganda Land Commission.
Earlier in March 2021, then State Minister or Urban Development Isaac Isanga Musumba had written to the Chairperson of the Uganda Land Commision indicating criteria for eligibility for investors to be allocated Nakawa/Naguru land.
“Consistent with the aspirations for an orderly, modern and well developed satellite city, which will set pace for modernising Kampala and signalling direction Kampala should take in its further development. Also intended to avoid slumasation,” he wrote.
“Please take further note that the highlights of the Physical Plan is that there should be no plots of land size less than 2 acres and the building should be less than three floors for residential houses and six floors for commercial buildings.”
“The plan must have provision for intra road network, infrastructure corridors for water, drainage, sewer lines, broad band internet and electricity, as well as green public spaces. Anything contrary to these specifics shall not be approved fir physical development in that area.”
In Mayanja’s letter seeking final approval from Museveni, companies had been allocated land as follows;
25 acres of the land were allocated due to presidential directives with 5.05 acres being institutional land, two acres to Ntinda wholesalers and 50 acres allocated to private individuals and companies.
It was noted following a ministerial visit that those who had erected structures on the land be compensated on humanitarian grounds because the size of their structures and their plans are not compatible with the planned ultra-modern Satellite city.
In the letter, Mayanja asks Museveni for the green light to conclude the allocation process.
While appearing before the parliamentary committee on physical infrastructure last year, ULC officials submitted a list of over 20 developers indicating that out of 82 acres, 50 acres has already been allocated to the investors.
ULC also informed the MPs that the developers were assessed and allocated land based on the following criteria: Legal existence, particulars of the directors annual audited accounts, experience in handling similar projects, company structures, business plan for development of the land, proof of tax compliance, proof of source of funding and submission of documentation in support of the application.
The land commission also informed MPs that the allocation was blessed by the President following ULC’s letter dated September 16, 2020 to him indicating a rigorous plan by ULC to develop the Naguru-Nakawa land as well as the efforts undertaken to weed out fake investors.
“The President appreciated the ULC’s rigorous plan and further directed ULC to interview potential investors in order to determine their seriousness before allocation. In addition, the commission conducted face-to-face interactions with the assessed applicants,” ULC said.
This website has seen a letter referred to by ULC officials.
“I have received your well written letter of the 5th of August, 2020 about the new plans of the Land Commission of digitalizing thi records and also the rigorous plans for the Naguru -Nakawa land for developing the area, finally, as well as weeding out fake investors. I have also noted your emphasis on the Land Commission Bill which you would like enacted into law although you did not bring out for me its value addition to the struggle for better land governance in Uganda.
Nevertheless, by copy of this letter I am directing the Attorney General to expedite that effort. I totally agree with your proposal th your team interviews the Virginia Hospital group to be sure abe their seriousness. By copy of this letter, I request the Virginia group to come and meet you for that purpose,” President Museveni wrote.