Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | State Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development in charge of Urban Development, Mario Obiga Kania has cautioned locals against erecting structures on road reserves along the Kitgum-Kidepo road in Kitgum district.
The government is set to upgrade the 115 kilometre road linking Kitgum municipality through Orom sub county to Karenga district from gravel to standard bitumen. This is intended to target the tourism business in Kidepo Valley National Park.
Following reports that the road was going to be upgraded, residents along the road reserves rushed to plant bananas, erecting temporary houses and shops targeting compensation from the government.
While responding to remarks made by the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech on the matter on Wednesday, Obiga said those erecting structures on the road reserves currently with full knowledge of the road construction won’t get any compensation.
The Minister was speaking at the commissioning of the first phase of the World Bank-funded road construction in Kitgum municipality.
Obiga says the government will embark on assessing the duration the properties have taken on the land where the road reserves fall. He adds that the newly planted crops and erected structures won’t qualify for compensation.
According to Obiga, this is being motivated by leaders who know about the project. He described it as an act of corruption that won’t be tolerated.
“Many times we talk about corruption and I heard people talking about corruption and they think corruption is some were there, but this is corruption.,” Obiga noted.
The vice has been registered along with road reserves in the sub-counties of Omiya Anyima, Namokora North and Namokora town council, Orom and Kitgum Matidi.
Last week, Felix Geria Osoa, the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA station manager in Kitgum district said that their officials had begun assessing the project sites.
Osoa noted that the assessment which entails getting details of landowners, properties and land size that will be affected by the road construction had covered more than 30 kilometres from Kitgum municipality.
John Peter Ocen, the Omiya Anyima sub-county chairperson says they have advised residents against planting bananas and erecting temporary grass-thatched huts and iron-roofed houses.
Under section 16, 8 of the Road Act 2019, a person who constructs any structure in or on a road reserve or uses a road reserve without authorization is not entitled to any compensation for the structure or use and shall remove the structure or cease the use of the road reserve at his or her cost.