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NUP opposes giving free land for Akon’s futuristic city

Akon City designed by Bakri & Associates Development Consultants.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  The National Unity Platform-NUP political party has opposed a plan by the government to allocate one Square mile of land for the construction of a futuristic city by  R&B American artiste Aliaume Damala Badara Thiam commonly known as Akon. 

Last week, Akon together with his wife Rozina Negusei, visited Uganda and met with high profile government officials including president Yoweri Museveni. In the meetings, they discussed the issue of investing in Uganda, and was subsequently taken around the country using the presidential helicopter to establish an area where he would build his city.

Akon’s ambitious vision is to build a city powered by a cryptocurrency called Akoin. He has previously hinted that part of the desire is to create a real-life version of Wakanda, the futuristic African kingdom portrayed in Marvel’s “Black Panther”, a project similar to one he promised to build in his own country Senegal, where he promised luxury condominiums, a seaside resort, office parks and gravity-defying skyscrapers. 

But the promise of an offer of free land solicited mixed reactions from the public with some supporting it while others called it another of such schemes that never get to see the light of the day. Speaking today at the party headquarters at Kamwokya, Joel Ssenyonyi, the party spokesperson said that although they have nothing personal against Akon, there is a disturbing trend where the government gives out public land without following any known procedures. 

Ssenyonyi gave an example of public land in Naguru-Nakawa estates, land that was initially hosting the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation in Nakasero, and the former Shimon Demonstration School in Kampala, among others, that was in the past given out in a similar manner and it ends up serving purposes other than those it was appropriated for.

Ssenyonyi added that their party is also, warry about Akon building a city in Uganda yet he has failed to build one in his home country of Senegal. 

Meanwhile, NUP has announced that a retreat with elected Members of Parliament that never took place last week following the death of the former Archbishop of Kampala Dr Kizito Lwanga will take place this week. David Lewis Rubongoya, the Secretary-General of NUP said that the retreat will take two days; Friday and Saturday and will see members deliberate on a number of issues including who they will be supporting for speaker of the 11th parliament. 

Rubongoya also decried what he called the continued arrest, detention and persecution of their members across the country. 

President Museveni has in the past admitted that police and other security organs have picked up people not because of their political affiliation but due to their involvement in criminal activities. 

Yesterday, the police spokesperson Fred Enanga also said that security will continue picking up anybody they sufficiently suspect of having participated or is planning to participate in criminal activities. However, NUP insists that most of those picked up are innocent people whose only crime is having supported Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu in the just concluded presidential election.

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