Private Developers Takeover Mbale's Uhuru Park

2237 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Private developers have started constructing houses in Mbale Municipality’s Independence Square. The developers used the Christmas Holidays to begin erecting buildings around the Square locally known as Uhuru Park.

Private developers have started constructing houses in Mbale Municipality’s Independence Square.

The developers used the Christmas Holidays to begin erecting buildings around the Square locally known as Uhuru Park.

Mbale Independence Square, a revered ground which symbolizes Uganda’s Independence from colonial rule in 1962, was in 2008 dubiously allocated to private developers by the Uganda Land Commission.

Following the illegal allocation, the former Speaker of Mbale Municipal Council, Davies Mwaule, placed a caveat on the square to allegedly protect it from being destroyed by private developers.

But in a twist, Mwaule reportedly backed off after he was given a plot in the park, paving way for the new development to take place.

Mwaule acknowledged in an interview with URN last year that the developers gave him a free plot, number fifteen in the park. He claimed that he reached an agreement with the developers to remove the caveat after realizing that there was serious shortage of land in Mbale.

Jennifer Amutos, a resident of Boma Ward who resides opposite the park, says they were surprised to see a group of builders digging a foundation in the park during the Christmas Holidays.

Amutos says developers seem to have got permission from the council to erect private homes in the park.

James Kutosi, the Mbale Municipal Spokesperson said the council will issue an official statement on the status of the park in the next three days.

Mbale Independence Square, just like Kololo Airstrip in Kampala, is used for hosting national functions.