BY UGANDA VANGUARD
BUKASA – State House has ordered police to investigate key government officials and a private firm for allegedly conniving to undervalue properties of residents affected by the proposed Bukasa Inland Port, Wakiso District. According to Head of the Anti-Corruption Unit in State House, Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema Albertine Consultants Ltd and Ministry of Works and Transport, officials as well as an Internal Security Officer (ISO) must be probed to establish their role in the exercise.
“Albertine Consultants Ltd must be investigated over the discrepancies in the compensation efforts. Police is to also investigate the Commissioner of Transport Services, Ms. Rose Tibiwa, for alleged connivance in the bad valuation of the property,” she said.
Lt. Col. Nakalema also instructed the Police to investigate an ISO Officer, Majid Kiwanuka, over his role in inciting the public and causing confusion.
There was need to appoint an independent team of technical people to do re-evaluation, Lt. Col. Nakalema, told the affected residents during a meeting at Bukasa Kirinya village, Kiira Municipality, Wakiso District Wednesday November 6th, 2019.
Her comment was after the LC 1 Chairperson, John Kaddu, revealed that officials of the Ministry of Works and Transport, asked the residents to present their assessment forms well knowing that a good number of them never received any. He added that some of the assessment forms that were presented do not correspond to those in the ministry.
Lt Col. Nakaleme promised all lawful residents of the proposed Bukasa Inland Port, Wakiso District that they will have their properties valued.
“This is government land, lawful claimants, who have developments, will be compensated. Everyone will be valued, I am pleased to note that you are supporting a government project,” she added.
The meeting was after residents complained of their properties being under-valued in the process of paving the way for the establishment of the Inland Port.
A total of 2,738 properties were earmarked for compensation. However, there has been an outcry over alleged discrepancies during the exercise. Out of that number, less than 1,000 claimants received assessment forms. The people that the project has affected say they have waited for the display and amendment of the list but all in vain. The residents bitterly complained of people who have small properties but who have been shortlisted for huge benefits while those owning big assets are saying that they are being given peanuts.
Lt. Col. Nakalema, told the claimants to appoint a committee to be led by their LC 1 Chairperson, John Kaddu, to make a follow up on the matter with the Anti- Corruption Unit on Monday 11th November 2019.
Government has set aside Shs29 billion for the compensation of people affected by the proposed construction of Bukasa Inland Port. This follows the approval of the Resettlement Action Plan.
The development follows a series of meetings between Project Affected Persons-PAPs and the Works Ministry, which has delayed the commencement of the multibillion flagship project. In 2015, government gazetted 500 acres of land in Bukasa in Kira Municipality to host a modern inland port to handle cargo.
The port is expected to reduce transport costs and expedite the movement of goods along the central corridor by providing an alternative route by connecting Uganda to Dar-es-Salaam through Mwanza port on Lake Victoria.
However, several people were later discovered to have settled on the land that was initially thought to belong to government. Some of the settlers hold certificates of title, which are said to have been issued erroneously.