The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Minister Wants Old Buildings Razed

Lands Minister Daudi Migereko has strongly criticised some physical planners in the country who allow developers to build structures in road reserves.

Speaking at a recent one-day retreat for Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU), at the Crested Crane hotel in Jinja town, Migereko singled out Mbale town.

"I have received many letters of complaint about people who build in road reserves in Mbale. We expect you to demolish these buildings because police is ready to work with you," Migereko said.

"Please mayors, engage your workers and we expect you to be committed so that we have well-planned structures in the towns," the minister said.

He added that physical planners were shunning their duties, allowing developers to overstep their limits. The minister also complained about old buildings, which he said were killing the beauty of some urban centres.

"Most of the buildings are too old and while others were constructed in the 1900s using iron sheets, we need to get rid of these buildings so that we come up with modern structures," he said.

Migereko was also concerned that the district land boards were interfering with the work of urban authorities in allocating land to investors. He called for a constitutional amendment that would allow urban authorities to have their own land boards.

His concern followed a complaint by Hajji Isa Gumonye, a commissioner in the ministry of Local Government, who noted that district land boards and the Uganda Land Commission are unconditionally allocating land titles of open spaces to investors without consulting urban authorities.

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