IN a Cabinet sitting on Monday 4th November 2019, chaired by President Museveni, State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza was ruled out on the issues of Kisekka Market land saying it was leased by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to market vendors.
Cabinet ruled that in any case of repossesing part of it for the development of another modern market for the ‘Wanainchi’, the rightful people will be consulted and duly compensated.
This is what Namuganza and her splinter group led by Godfrey Kayita never wanted to hear about. They wanted to confiscate part of Kisekka market land worth billions. Cabinet blocked her deal.
They unanimously said, this land was legally leased by the vendors and any attempt to repossess part of it, the rightful land owners must be talked to and if they agree, are compensated.
Namuganza who had threatened to block development of Kisekka Market by the vendors’ leadership was beaten hands down!
Before this, The learned Attorney General William Byaruhanga first wrote to ministry of Lands warning Namuganza against attempting to sabotage Kisekka market vendors project of constructing a modern market saying if vendors sue Government, this Bukono MP will be liable.
Namuganza was taking sides with a section of market vendors opposition leadership and she was telling them that it’s the government which bought this land for all Kisekka market traders, which Attorney General called lies spread by the minister.
In his wise counsel, Byaruhanga advised the general lands ministry to back off from Kisekka market woes warning that the Market management within the capital city is the mandate of the Kampala Capity City Authority (KCCA) and the vendors’ issues should be managed by the minister responsible for Kampala, not State lands minister Persis Namuganza.
Namuganza did not know her area of jurisdiction. Being a State Lands minister, she thought she would use her office to drive home her ambitions at Kisekka market.
Attorney General warned that if market vendors sue, the Minister will be liable!
In his three paged legal advise to the lands ministry, Attorney General Byaruhanga wrote, “The Kampala Capital City Authority is advised to settle whatever management issues pertaining to the vendors in Kisekka Market. Lands ministry must stay away to avoid legal implications and crossing boarders.”
The Attorney General legal advice came in after Kisekka Market leaders wrote to lands ministry petitioning the minister about her junior, Persis Namuganza on what they called interfearing with their project of constructing a modern market on their land that they legally leased from KCCA.
They faulted Bukono MP Hon. Namuganza for leading a clique of people who they called enemies of development to sabotage the market construction by staging demonstrations claiming to have been locked outside this project yet according to the minister and her team, the market land was bought for vendors by Government.
Attorney General branded this typical lies intending to mislead and disorganise Kisekka market development.
In his letter which was copied to Namuganza among others, Byaruhanga advised the minister to stay away from this 1.52B land lease.
Cabinet sat and agreed with Attorney General’s guidance.
The land in question is comprised in LRV 4256 folio 8 plot 9A, Nakivubo Kisekka market.
Namuganza held meetings at Kisekka market and declared a war against M/s. Nakivubo Road Old Kampala (Kisekka) Market Vendors Limited who got a lease to develop this land threatening to recall that title and put a caveat until all the vendors targeted by the president are catered for and allowed to take part in the development.
This didnt go well with the traders’ Association which followed the right procedures to pay over 1.52B to win the lease offer.
They reported Namuganza to then Kampala minister Beti Kamya but she instead went on a local radio and soiled KCCA minister how she cant involve herself in land matters.
“These are not issues of Kampala minister. Am directly concerned, all land matters fall under my docket as the line minister. Going to Kamya is wasting time. No one can stop me from bailing out Kisekka traders who were locked out in a project blessed by my father, the president. He bought this land for all vendors, why are you locking them out?” Namuganza asked.
She revealed her plans about cancelling Kisekka market lease and also take the sidelined traders to top Government officials.
” M/s. Nakivubo Road Old Kampala (Kisekka) Market Vendors Limited either have to involve these other vendors or give away the other side of the land, which isnt yet developed to them. If not, the president who bought this land for traders, will intervene.” Namuganza, who is said to be working on directions of a certain State House lady who wants Kisekka market, said.
However, Attorney General warned this minister to know the repercussions if M/s. Nakivubo Road Old Kampala (Kisekka) Market Vendors Limited chooses to sue her as a person because she doesnt follow the law.
Insiders say, there was a cold war going on between Namuganza and her senior ministers, taking herself to be too close to the president than any of them and for this reason, cant take their orders.
Many ministers including her then immediate boss Hon. Betty Among are reportedly said to have reported her to the president for interfearing in their work.
ATTORNEY GENERAL GUIDANCE
Reference is made to the letter from M/s. Nakivubo Road Old Kampala (Kisekka) Market Vendors Limited of 21st November 2016 to you and copied to me, among others.
We have studied the issues raised by the Company, studied the background documents and established the facts as follows;
Nakivubo Road Old Kampala (Kisekka) Market Vendors Limited Company was formed in 2007 by vendors in then Kisekka market as a vehicle mainly to acquire and develop the above reffered land. The objects, membership, governance and obligations of the members are well articulated in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of a Company.
Subsequently, the Company applied to KCCA for the above which was offered to them on a sublease basis.
The Company effected all the relevant payments to the tune of Ug. Shs. 1,520,000,000/= (Uganda Shillings 1 billion Five hundred, twenty million only) as premium together with annual ground rent of Ug. Shs. 76,000,000/= (Uganda Shillings Seventy six million only).
The Company was given an initial lease of five years to carry out development in accordance with Architectural and building regulations, all of which the company is complying with.
All payments are mobilised from members own contributions.
In a letter dated 10th December 2019 written by then Kampala minister Beti Olive Namisango Kamya to Mr. Robert Kasolo Kisembo, Kisekka market Chairman (who is being fought by Namuganza), she said, “Under minute 442 (CT 2019) 3 (17), Cabinet resolved that the Minister for Kampala Capital City & Metropolitan Affairs repossesses the undeveloped piece of land at Kisekka market for development of a modern market for the Wanainchi’ working in the market on the condition that the latter withdraw their case from Court. The rightful people will be duly compensated.”
WE DON’T HAVE VACANT LAND – KISEKKA
Reacting to the cabinet decission, Kisekka market leaders said they are happy, now the propaganda spread by Namuganza team that they don’t own this land is no more, let talks begin.
“We are happy the investigations by Gen. Moses Ali has found out that we truly own Kisekka market land. Those who have been spreading propaganda that we didn’t buy the land Should now lie low as an envelope.” Said Simon Peter Lubwama, Kisekka market Spokesman.
He however told us, “We don’t have vacant land. According to the plan which KCCA cleared and now we are under construction, the said vacant land is part of the plan. In fact, it is the runway for cars driving to the parking at the top of the market buildings. We will meet KCCA officials and explain this because it is on the plan.”
“Repossesing part of the land means changing the whole plan which is impossible and very costly. The site is already in the hands of Roko Construction and we don’t just access it. So, the deal is a bit tricky. But this place after completion, can accomodate all vendors. No cause of panic.” Said Lubwama.
On 12th April, 2007, the then minister of Local Government , Hon. Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire wrote to the Town Clerk informing her that he had received a request from the Executive Committee of New Nakivubo Road (Kisekka) Market Vendors Association to develop Kisekka market in partnership with a developer of their choice, Rhino Investments Ltd.
He indicated to the Town Clerk that they had no objection to their request and supported that they should have priority in developing their place of work. He requested that they be allowed to develop their market provided they fulfil the following four conditions:
i, Only vendors with lock-ups and stalls should participate in the project.
ii, They should present an accepted investment plan.
iii, Should operate as one group to avoid a repetition of various competing groups
iv, They should present a formal agreement with an investor of their choice.
On 27th July 2007, the Executive Director PPDA gave a go ahead to the Town Clerk with regard to the method by which the procurement transaction was handled, stating that “Under regulation 127 (1) (b) of the Local Government (Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets) Regulations, an entity is permitted to use a method of direct negotiations with the sitting tenant as it is reasonable to give that tenant the first option to buy. The vendors in this case may be considered so long as they fulfil the council conditions and their offer is value for money.
On August 22nd 2007, Kampala City Council (KCC) gave a sublease offer of land compromised on Plot 9A Kyaggwe Road commonly known as Kisekka market to Rhino Investments Ltd in a joint venture with New Nakivubo Road Market vendors Association for a period of 9years to undertake the redevelopment of Kisekka market.
The Sublease was offered at a premium of Ug. Shs. 1,520,000, 000/= and ground rent of UGX 76,000,000/=, Rhino Investments Ltd.
Before the Sub-lease agreement was prepared for execution, a section of market vendors rioted, protesting the re-development, resulting into vandalism.
This compelled the Government to intervene by deploying the security to contain the situation and also instituted a commission of Inquiry. Following the recommendation of the commission of inquiry, on November 10th 2008, H.E the President wrote to Attorney General directing him to evaluate and compensate Rhino Investments Ltd. which had been given the sub-lease offer to redevelop Kisekka Market.
In 2009, Government of Uganda compensated M/s. Rhino Investments Ltd an amount of U G X 14.9 billion on the basis that the sublease which had been given to Rhino to develop Kisekka Market by the Kampala City Council was cancelled by the Government.
After the Government compensation to M/s. Rhino Limited, the land reverted to Kampala City Council and was available for leasing to the Kisekka Market vendors.
From the above analysis, the land belongs to KCCA as the leasor and the Company as the lessee. There is no contention here.
The company contracted M/s. Roko Construction and are in advanced stages of construction of a modern market.