Mukono, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mukono municipal taxi park land has been solved off to a new developer without the knowledge of the municipal authorities. The taxi park operates on Kyaggwe block 530 plot 1-17 in Total ward along Kamapala-Jinja highway.
The land belonged to the family of the late Ham Mukasa and was placed under the administrator-ship of Dorothy Nabeeta. It was later transferred into the names of Rebecca Kibulire, a granddaughter to Mukasa who has now sold it to Mukono Tycoon, Charles Tabula Nsubuga at Shillings 3billion.
Despite this, Mukono Municipality has an active lease of 49 years, which still has 28 years to expire. Jamadah Kajoba, the Mukono Deputy Mayor, says they were shocked to find out that Nabeeta, who was their landlord, handed over the title to Kibulire who sold off the land without their knowledge.
“We leased the land from Nabeeta who was its administrator and we also sub leased part of the land to traders who have lock up shops on it, the remaining part was gazetted as a taxi park but in the process of registering the municipal properties we were shocked to find out that the land was sold off to a private developer this year,” Kajoba explains.
There are about 40 lock ups around Mukono Taxi Park with each paying ground rent of Shillings 150, 000 every month to the municipality. Isaiah Nsubuga, the personal assistant to Nsubuga confirmed that his boss indeed bought the land and secured the land title.
He says Nsubuga intends to set up a modern shopping mall on part of the land and parking yard. Rebecca Kibulire, who is said to have sold off the land, wonders why the municipal authorities are feigning ignorance about the land transaction yet the land was publically advertised for a full year.
She also denies receiving any document confirming the tenancy of the municipality on the land or formal notification about their lease. However, the Mukono Assistant Town Clerk, Alex Sseruwagi Nanyonga insists that there is clear evidence confirming their occupancy.
He says the matter is currently being handled by their Legal Officer, James Nsubuga to avoid causing loss to the municipality. Once the new landlord decide to develop the contested land, the municipality will be liable to compensating traders who sub leased the land for the remaining years and other losses that they may incur.
Taxi operators are bitter with the municipality authorities who they accuse of playing them. Asuman Bita, a Taxi driver says there are many people benefiting from the taxi park, saying the municipality should have paid keen attention to the matter.
He notes that rumors about the proposed sell of the land started doing rounds three years back but the municipal authorities kept denying it.
“If the council failed it would accept to invite us and land lord to give us a chance of buying ourselves as the park operators and develop the land but nothing we have gained from them. This means we shall start operating alongside the road and we shall strongly fight the enforcement officers chasing us away since they have not designated a new working for us.”
Edward Kiwanuka, a member of the Taxi Park Management Committee, says they have no intention of stopping the municipality or land owner from selling the land but the proposed development must cater for a taxi park. He notes that Mukono shares the busiest highway in the country whose traffic jam will worsen if they are displaced from their current location.
“It is not the first time they have tried evicting us from this place but towns must have parks, they must gazette another space to relocate us, this is the center were we get bread, money for educating our children and a center for an organized transport.’
The Mayor Mukono Municipality, George Fred Kagimu has called from the affected people saying the municipality is handling the matter.