Lwengo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lwengo district risks losing prime property over an accumulated debt it owes to former Member of Parliament for Bukoto West Abdul Kitatta.
Kitatta is threatening to repossess seven out of the ten acres of land on which the district constructed its headquarters in Mbirizi town council, over an outstanding debt of 60 million Shillings.
In 2013, Kitata donated three acres piece of land to the district for the construction of their administrative offices and later entered into a sales agreement for the remaining seven acres on which the district would expand.
According to Kitatta, although the district had committed to paying him 60 million Shillings for the purchase of the seven acres, the money has never been paid for close to a decade now, hence preferring to repossess his property.
He argues that the district has had enough ample time to pay him but in vain, which suggests that they may be no longer interested in the property despite it appreciating in the purchase value.
The then district leadership had proposed to utilize the land for the construction of a police station, and the Chief Magistrate’s Court and part of it is being used as a district agricultural demonstration farm.
Peregrino Ssenozi, the Lwengo District Speaker says that they have been served with a notice of the impending repossession of the property by the primary owner over nonpayment of purchase fees.
He says that the owner has presented enough justification to repossess his property after waiting for his payment for quite a long time.
According to him, the district would have wished to clear the debt and retain the property but they could not find a vote within their budgets, explaining that local governments largely operate on conditional financial allocations that cannot be diverted to unintended purposes.
He indicates that the district technical team has repeatedly been dodging the matter and instead tossing it to the political wing which can largely find a solution to it.
Naddy Tumuhimbise, the Lwengo district Workers’ councilor says they for the last three consecutive budget framework papers, the council has been passing resolutions for payment of the outstanding debt, but the central government has not been including it on the considered priorities for financing.
He however indicates that they are now going to pile pressure on the Chief Administrative Officer to do everything possible and look for the money such that the district can save the land which is apparently a strategically located prime asset.
Vincent Birimuye, the Lwengo LCV Vice Chairperson indicates that the district is financially constrained which affected its ability to clear its debts including those of critical items.
According to him, the district had in this financial year anticipated clearing the debt using part of the financial allocations to the Natural Resources Department, but this could not happen due to tight budgets.
He however says that through their district executive committee, they are going to engage the Chief Administration Officer to find a way of saving the land from being taken away.