State House, UPDF Accused of Land Grabbing

Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF and State lodge-Nakasero are accused of illegally occupying land and buildings belonging to the National housing and Construction Corporation.

The Land in question covers 16 acres in Mbuya, a Kampala suburb and a building on Plot 1 Kyaggwe Road Nakasero which is enclosed within the state lodge.

The matter was raised by officials from National Housing and Construction Corporation (NHCC) who appeared before Parliaments committee on commissions, State Authorities and Statutory Enterprises to respond to audit queries raised in the Auditor General’s report for the year ended June 2011.

According to the Auditor General’s report for the year, NHCC holds a registered title for the Land in Mbuya which is currently occupied by the Ministry of Defence. However, the corporation has not been able to take possession of this land and to recognize its value in its Financial Statements.

Parity Twinomujuni, the Chief Internal Auditor at the corporation told the committee that the land occupied by UPDF in Mbuya is valued at Ugx 16 billion but that the army has frustrated all attempts to value the land as well as granting them access.

He added that the corporation currently demands Ugx 65m in rent arrears from State House for its building enclosed within the Nakasero State lodge.

Meanwhile, Committee Members learnt that State Lodge together with Ministry of Defence had no tenancy agreements or contracts with NHCC for the occupancy.

“With State House remaining adamant and rejecting demands to clear its rent arrears, NHCC has been forced to back off and negotiate a deal of selling off the building under dispute to the debtor,” Twinomujuni said.

Committee Chairperson Ibrahim Semujju Nganda blamed the corporation for failing to apply all the available options to reclaim its land from the two government entities.

However, Betty Amony, the NHCC Public Relations Officer noted that NHCC lawyers are in advanced stages of negotiations with State House and Ministry of Defence and that they envisage that the matter will be completed before the year ends.

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