Luzira Prison Land Goes to Iranian Investors

3025 Views Kampala, Uganda
Iranian businessmen are the latest group of investors to benefit from the land giveaway by government. They have been allocated the 460 acres of Luzira Prison land. On Monday, Johnson Byabashaija the Commissioner General of Prisons met a delegation of Iranian businessmen that was led by their Ambassador, Ali Dabiran, to finalize plans to take over the land. Byabashaija says no decision has been taken yet but negotiations are still ongoing with the Iranian businessmen. Byabashaija says that the Iranian businessmen have what is needed to redevelop the land. He discloses that Chinese and South African businessmen have also expressed interest in the Luzira land. //Cue in: "That land is ..." Cue out: "... the land."// Dr. Maggie Kigozi, the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority says that no decision has been reached on the prison land. She claims that Uganda Prisons is still looking for an investor to enter into a public private partnership. Kigozi says that once the investor is identified the prison land will be leased to the investor for a specific period of time. She says that under the conditions of the lease the investor will construct another facility to accommodate the prisons. However Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee says that the allocation of Luzira prison land to investors is illegal. He says that if government has plans to sell off the land it should be done through open bidding to ensure value for money. Nandala says that an acre of land in Luzira sells for one billion shillings on the open market. In mid 2000, government allocated 64acres of Luzira prison land for the construction of an industrial park. News of the allocation of Luzira prison land to the Iranians comes a few days, after attempts by parliament to block the sale of 252 acres of Kirinya Government Prison land to investors. Members of Parliament are protesting the sale of the prison land for a paltry shillings 5000 an acre. The Kirinya land was recently leased to Lake Victoria Information Communication Technology and Bio-Tec, a firm owned by Richard Raja a businessman and Jinja East Member of Parliament Igeme Nabeta. Luzira prison accommodates 6000 inmates and is comprised of Luzira Upper Maximum Security Prison, Murchison Bay Prison, Kampala Remand Prison, Kampala Women Prison, the Prison Training and Staff College, and a mixed farm.


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