Redevelopment of Constitutional Square Foiled by Ministry of Local Government

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With only seven months to the much-anticipated Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the planned redevelopment of the main geographical landmark in Kampala, the Constitutional Square, hangs in balance. In August last year, the Mayor of Kampala, Nasser Ntege Ssebagala, announced that Balton Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of Britain's Balton CP Limited, had been contracted to redevelop the Constitutional Square. Ssebagala blocked attempts by the LC3 chairperson of Kampala Central Division, Godfrey Nyakaana, to plant trees and flowers at the Constitutional Square, arguing that Kampala City Council had alternative plans for the area. The Town Clerk of Kampala, Ruth Kijjambu, tells Uganda Radio Network that shortly before the 150 million-dollar deal was finalized with Balton, the Ministry of Local Government intervened in the matter, directing that a meeting be held to discuss the agreement. She says that to date, the meeting has not been convened and the beautification of the Constitutional Square is behind schedule. Kijjambu says KCC would have wished to start on the redevelopment of the Constitutional Square several months ago, but its hands are tied by Government bureaucracy and a lack of funds. //Cue in: iWhen we identified Balton #i Cue out: i# a lot of control.i// According to the proposal fronted by Balton, the new-look Constitutional Square would have a water fountain as its main feature in the middle. It would also have an information centre, modern toilets, parking space, a green belt and flowers. As this project stalls, KCC is turning its sights to other projects. It is to spend one billion shillings to beautify the Entebbe Road ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Town Clerk says Government has approved the disbursement of the funds for planting flowers and grass and repairing broken pavements, particularly from the Kibuye roundabout to the Clock Tower. She says KCC has proposed a list of four companies to be granted the deal through a selective bidding process. Kijjambu refuses to disclose the names of the proposed companies, which will be vetted by the Ministry of Local Government.