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After 12 years of chasing and backtracking, the government has decided to recover the 162 acre-piece of land for the multibillion Naguru-Nakawa Housing project that had been given away to an investor.

The decision to recover the land follows failure by the investor, Opec Prime Properties Uganda Ltd, to develop the area into a mini satellite city, according to the Government.

The satellite city project was to be implemented within 10 years and the plan was meant to start with 1,747 subsidized residential flat units for purchase by the registered former tenants on a first-priority basis. The Minister of State for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Isaac Musumba, speaking to journalists yesterday at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, invited interested investors to apply for the land.

Musumba was responding to questions after the director for urban development, Deus Ayanga-yanga read out a statement on behalf of the minister, Betty Amongi, about the forthcoming World Habitat Day celebrations scheduled to take place on Monday, in Busia Municipality.

Musumba said that ‘indeed government had a plan to transform Naguru-Nakawa because the houses that existed were beyond their use-by date and needed to be demolished and replaced’. “However, like all business transactions, this one fell victim of the party who was supposed to be developing it and failed to do so and there are some legal issues. As we speak now, the land has reverted to government,” he said.

The Government had entered into a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with the investor to redevelop the estate located a few kilometers from the city center. According to the minister, ‘the good news is that if any of you has the muscle or knows whoever has the financial might to develop the land, we shall give you that land, it is available’.

Minister Isaac Musumba, invited interested investors, who can develop the 162 acres of the Nakawa-Naguru Housing Estate

APPLICATION CALLS

“If you have one bed-roomed house in a prime area, I want you to either upgrade it to the level that is required by the physical planner of the area or to go away, “ Musumba said The Government’s decision to recover the Nakawa-Naguru Housing Estate follows the failure by the investor, Opec Prime Properties Uganda Ltd, to develop it into a mini satellite city. Able investors are invited to develop the land

Explaining the Government plans to get rid of slums in the city, the minister, however, warned that with the passing of the new amendments to the Physical Planning Bill in Parliament, whoever has an unregulated structure in the city will be given an option to develop it or sell it and go elsewhere.

“The fact of the matter is that Uganda is advancing, if you have a one bed-roomed house in a prime area, I want you to know and to be prepared either to upgrade it to the level that is required by the physical planner of the area or to go away,” he said.

He explained that government would not allow the country to “stagnate because you have a small little house and that is all you can afford”. “You must be prepared to put value of development in an area where you stay,” he said, adding that the amendments were supposed to put in place a new legal framework for improving housing conditions in the areas.

Fact file

On October 15, 2007, the Government entered into a PPP agreement with the developer, Opec Prime Properties Uganda Limited, a member of the UK Comer Group to redevelop two dilapidated housing estates of Nakawa and Naguru into a mini-satellite city.

The land was supposed to be a mixed, urban, commercial and residential real estate development. The development was planned to include the construction of 1,747 flat units a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, restaurants, and retail shops.

The developer pledged to inject at least sh3.87 trillion into what was supposed to be magnificent apartments. In July 2011, the Kampala Capital City Authority evicted hundreds of tenants to give way for its redevelopment and ROKO Constructionwasselectedastheleadcontractor, with REMAX Uganda as a lead marketing firm.

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