8 November 2012

Uganda: KCCA, Nema Sued Over Demolished Fuel Stations

A businessman, John Imaniraguha, has dragged Kampala Capital City Authority and the National Environment Management Authority to court, accusing them of illegally demolishing his two fuel stations that were under construction.

Imaniraguha, a Rwandan national, is the proprietor of Fuelex fuel stations in Uganda. On September 24, KCCA and NEMA, working with the police, demolished two structures at Kansanga in Makindye and at Spear Motors junction in Nakawa on grounds that the developer had defied several warnings not to build in the wetlands.

However, through his lawyers, Birungyi, Barate Advocates & Associates, Imaniraguha argues that the demolition of his structures was illegal because it was contrary to a court injunction stopping such action.

"Both the High Court and Chief Magistrate's Court of Nakawa issued orders prohibiting the demolishing of any developments on the plaintiff's land on plot 254 Nabutiti zone in Kansanga and plot 5 Mukabya road at Nakawa," says the plaint, filed on October 2.

Imaniraguha says neither KCCA nor NEMA served him with any demolition orders for either site, as required by law. He further argues that prior to embarking on construction of the structures, NEMA had cleared him and the defunct Kampala City Council (KCCA's predecessor) approved his building plans.

He is seeking, among others, compensation, exemplary damages and costs of the suit. KCCA spokesman, Peter Kauju, told The Observer on Friday -- the same day the plaint was filed -- that the Authority had not been served with the plaint in question.

"When we get served, our legal team will do the needful. But this will not deter us from continuing to demolish illegal structures, particularly those in wetlands," Kauju said.

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