New Vision (Kampala)

6 February 2013

Uganda: Namboole Plans to Evict Encroachers

KIRA LCIII chairman Mamerito Mugerwa, Sports View Hotel, Bulemezi Maize Mills and Kireka Prayer Palace are among the big encroachers on the land belonging to the Nelson Mandela National Stadium Limited, Namboole.

The land is earmarked for other facilities connected to the stadium that include training fields, a hockey pitch, an indoor stadium and swimming, diving and water polo pools of international standards.

The stadium is planning to construct the facilities as per the master plan, in cooperation with 'partners'.

Ssewanyana points towards the land boundary at Kireka. Photos by Norman Katende

The washing bay in the foreground and Sports View Hotel are also siting on the land illegally.

Taking journalists on a tour, the stadium managing director Jamil Ssewanyana said they were already in talks with some of the occupants on how best they can vacate the land.

"Most of them erected their structures during the past regimes. What we are trying to do is open the boundaries and know which land is still available to us. We have 48.8 hectares but we want to know which of the land has been encroached on, and how we can free it for development," said Ssewanyana. The Namboole boss has spent less than six months in office.

UPDF veterans and Kireka market are also using part of the land, though they acknowledge that it belongs to Namboole and are ready to vacate.

Bweyogerere Market is also under threat of eviction

"Those who were here before the stadium was constructed were compensated but some just did not leave. But now that we are on a mission to fulfil the master plan, we will have to create space for development," said Ssewanyana.

Mamerito Hotel, like Sports View Hotel, has a big part on the Namboole land. Mamerito was in the process of grading more land two weeks ago but was stopped by authorities.

"We expect him (Mugerwa, the proprietor) as an area leader to comply," said Ssewanyana.

The stadium that was constructed 16 years ago was the first project of the sports complex meant to have all sporting facilities. But due to lack of funds, most of the projects have stalled. The new board however wants to have all these projects started on.

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