Entebbe- Express High Way Stalls Over Compensation Dispute

3121 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Mary Kuteesa Kamuli, the Legal Director UNRA- says the works have stalled due to disagreements on the amount of compensation with a rock owner along the road stretch.

The construction of Kampala- Entebbe Express Highway has stalled due to disagreements between Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA and a property along the 36 kilometer road. Mary Kuteesa Kamuli, the Legal Director UNRA- says the works have stalled due to disagreements on the amount of compensation with a rock owner along the road stretch.

According to Kamuli, the rock owner wants Shillings 48 billion in compensation, yet UNRA thinks the compensation shouldn't be more than Shillings 4 billion. She was speaking during a consultative meeting with legislators drawn from committees such as the Committee on Physical Infrastructure, Finance Committee and Budget Committee among others.
Kamuli says as a result of the dispute government continues to incur more costs on the project.
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Article 26 (2) (b) (i) of the Constitution provides for prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation of property owners prior to possession. Kuteesa cited a need for a multi-disciplinary land dispute resolution tribunal to enable compulsory land acquisition to enable government projects proceed without unnecessary delays.
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Kuteesa also cited inter-party disputes on who receives compensation awards as another scenario that delays government projects. "There is need to balance the protection of the rights to property visa vie the need for government projects to go on, these projects are being built for the people but if the people cannot let the projects happen, then we are frustrating ourselves as a country", said Kuteesa.
Allen Kagina, the Executive Director UNRA said that acquisition of land is a problem by all agencies dealing with infrastructure. 

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Amos Lugolobi, the Ntenjeru North MP questioned why UNRA was hesitant to present its proposals on land acquisition to parliament through the Works and Transport Minister Eng. Monica Azuba Ntege. 
The Ngora Woman MP, Jacqueline Amongin noted the need for the Works Ministry to liaise with the Lands Ministry to table the proposed amendments to parliament for debate. Government is in the process of tabling amendments to the Land Act 1988 through the Lands Minister Betty Amongi.
One of the amendment being is fronted is to mandate government to acquire and commence development on any land before the property owner is fully compensated. Amongi says this is aimed at addressing delays on government projects. 

However, Dr. Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change party presidential candidate and other opposition politicians have roundly rejected the proposal, saying this will fuel land grabbing by mafias in government.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.