Golf Course Land: Contractors Defy Court Top story

3663 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LC V Chairman says the contractors will face repercussions for defying the court order.

China Railways Group East Africa Ltd has defied a court order stopping the ongoing construction of the Bank of Uganda Currency Centre on the disputed Masaka Golf Course land. The contested land is found between Tropic Inn Hotel, Masaka State Lodge and Golf Lane Hotel.
The land is at the center of the dispute involving Masaka municipality, South Buganda Anti-Corruption Organisation, Golf Course Union and Bank of Uganda. Both Uganda Golf Union and Masaka municipality claims ownership of the disputed land measuring about two acres. 

Masaka municipality claims to have secured a 99 year lease for the land while Uganda Golf Union claims that the 2 acres piece of land is part of the 40 acres belonging to the Golf Course. In 2012, Masaka municipality allowed Bank of Uganda to construct a currency center on the disputed land. 
In turn, BoU contracted China Railways Group East Africa Limited to undertake construction work at the tune of Shillings 50 billion. As a result, South Buganda Anti-Corruption Organization sued Louis Kasekende, the BoU Deputy Governor, saying the central bank didn't follow the right procedure to acquire the contested land. 
Last evening, South Buganda Anti-Corruption oragnisation secured a court injunction stopping the construction of the Currency Centre. In the injunction, Baker Rwatooro, the Masaka High Court Deputy Registrar halts the construction work until the matter before court is disposed of.

Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LC V Chairman and former Mayor, Charles Kasibante Kibabilire who are behind the application served China Railways Group East Africa limited with a copy of the court injunction. The site major, Pascal Waiswa received a copy of the injunction on behalf of China Railways Group East Africa limited. 

Despite receiving the injunction stopping all activities on the land, the contractors are continuing with their work normally. Waiswa says they can't respect the court order since they were neither contracted by Masaka district administration nor High Court.

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Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LC V Chairman says the contractors will face repercussions for defying the court order. However, some residents and leaders in the municipality are infuriated by the decision of Mbabaali to pursue the matter further.
The Resident District Commissioner, Joe Walusimbi has warned Mbabaali against interfering with the project. He says all the issues around the allocation of the contested land were resolved amicably to allow the project take off.

Godfrey Kayemba, the Mayor Masaka Municipality says those fighting the construction of the Currency Centre have their own selfish reasons. He says they are ready to defend the project at all levels because it is good for the people of Masaka.

The BoU Deputy Governor, Louis Kasekende is expected to appear before Masaka Chief Magistrate's court on January 19th 2017 to respond to summons issued against him.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.