By Allen C. Kagina
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) wishes to inform the general public that the story printed in the New Vision Newspaper on pages 1 and 10 stating “UNRA Sues Kabaka” is a gross misrepresentation of the facts at hand.
In lieu of the same publication, UNRA would like to present the facts of this matter as follows;
The Authority is in the process of implementing one of the major road projects –i.e. Kampala –Jinja Expressway and in the process of acquiring land and compensating project affected persons in accordance with the law.
The project traverses land comprised in Kyadondo Block 273 which is subject of an ongoing court dispute between the estate of Daudi Chwa, Buganda land Board and the Kabaka of Buganda Vide Civil Suit No.535 of 2017, Prince Kalemera H. Kimera, Prince David Namugala Mawanda Prince Moses Luswata, Princess Nalinya Nandaula Versus Kabaka of Buganda, Buganda Land Board and The Commissioner Land Registration.
The Authority is not party to the above dispute.
However, on 10th August, 2017, Prince Kalemera H. Kimera secured a temporary order of injunction in the above suit, against Kabaka of Buganda and Buganda Land Board restraining them or their agents/servants or persons claiming under them from acquiring compensation payment from UNRA in respect of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway Project pending final determination of Civil Suit No. 535 of 2017 or until otherwise ordered.
UNRA therefore stopped paying compensation over this land.
The in dispute is earmarked for the carriage way and is occupied by 1181 Bibanja Holders, who have to be compensated however, due to the above order, the Authority cannot compensate them since they derive their interest from the Registered Proprietor/land lord.
In the interest of the project, UNRA has sought court to vary the order to allow for paying the Bibanja holders to get out of the right of way and avail land for the road construction.
UNRA accordingly reached out to all the parties, held engagements with both Buganda Land Board and the Daudi Chwa family to seek their concurrance to vary the court injuction.
The parties did in principle agree to vary the order and have exuded support towards UNRA in implementing the project, UNRA is extremely grateful to both parties for their support to the project.
In order to achieve variation of the court order, UNRA had to file an application against ALL the parties in the main suit who include The Kabaka of Buganda.
It is this application that has been misconstrued and represented as a suit against the Kabaka by the New Vision.
We reiterate that the purpose of the application is to vary the temporary injuction to allow UNRA to compensate Bibanja Holders on the land in dispute to avoid any further delays to the project.
We therefore request members of the media to refrain from inconsistencies that may harm the project.
The author is the Executive Director of UNRA