Mbale's New 'Skyscrapers' a Time Bomb

2632 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Local authorities in Mbale have been accused of conniving with private developers to illegally turn condemned buildings into storied structures.

Local authorities in Mbale have been accused of conniving with private developers to illegally turn condemned buildings into storied structures.

Developers are adding floors onto dilapidated buildings which were once marked for demolition. The buildings which are more than fifty years old had been condemned by the local authorities and the owners ordered to demolish them.

But in a turn of events, the buildings, several of them located in Indian Quarters in Mbale municipality, are being turned into storied buildings without approved building plans.

Martin Nsubuga, a resident of Indian Quarters says the condemned buildings which were former government pool houses, have been bought by powerful local businessmen who are now turning them into storied buildings.

He explains that the developers do not mind erecting columns to support the upper floors. Nsubuga blames the mess on the authorities at Mbale Municipal Council whom he claims approves plans for such structures.

There are currently ten condemned buildings in Indian Quarters that have been illegally turned into flats.

They include Trinity Inn located along Peter Paul Lane and three other buildings that are on Busoga and Muchere lanes, all owned by Ali Boto, a local businessman.  

But the authorities are feigning ignorance of the existence of the structures.
Edson Kasata, the Mbale Municipal Engineer said he was not aware of a condemned building that had been turned into a flat. He however advises any resident who is complaining to write to the town clerk in order for action to be taken.

Local authorities are empowered by law to be in charge of the urban physical planning, which power they are supposed to use to control illegal structures from being erected in their areas of jurisdiction.