6 December 2012

Uganda: Torched Nateete Police Station Set to Rise Again

Reconstruction of the Nateete police station will begin on Monday, three years after it was burnt down by rioters. The so-called 'Buganda riots' happened in September 2009 after the government barred Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi from travelling to Bugerere, a region under his jurisdiction.

According to the police deputy spokesman, Vincent Ssekate, the force had secured a title for the land from the Uganda Land Commission and was now ready to proceed with the reconstruction to be undertaken by their engineering department. An estimated Shs 4bn is to be spent.

Three years ago, former Internal Affairs Minister Ali Kirunda Kivejinja commissioned the reconstruction project, promising the country the works would be complete within 100 days.

However, a feud over the land ownership stalled the project. There were claims that the land belongs to Buganda Kingdom, not the central government (see: Nateete police post still down, The Observer; September 8, 2010).

Officials at the Buganda Land Board declined to comment on the matter and referred us to the Inspector General of Police. But Ssekate now says they are raring to start.

"We had been delayed by materials which required a lot of money, but we have now acquired all the materials we need and some people are already on the ground doing some clearing before the actual works can take off on Monday," said Ssekate.

For three years, the police station has been operating in a makeshift structure and a visit this week didn't show any clearing work going on. Apart from the police station, the force also plans to build houses for families of constables, under a public private partnership arrangement.

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