Golf Union Protests Construction of Currency Centre On its Land

2579 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
A letter issued by Bernard Mbayo, the Secretary Uganda Golf Union, says the construction of a currency centre on their land is illegal. He says they received funding from St. Andrews Scotland which is meant to redevelop the Gold Course to resume operation.

Masaka Municipal councillors and the Uganda Golf Union are protesting the allocation of part of Masaka Golf Course for the construction of a currency centre.

The residents have tasked the municipal leaders including Mayor Godfrey Kayemba and Innocent Ahimbisibwe, the town clerk to call a public hearing and explain circumstances under which Golf Course land was changed to allow private development.

The land in question is located between Tropic Inn Hotel, Masaka State Lodge and Golf Lane Hotel. Masaka municipality allocated about two acres off the 40-acre piece of land where Masaka Golf Course sits. The land belongs to Uganda Golf Union although Masaka municipality also claims to have a 99-year lease on the same land.

In 2012, Masaka municipality allowed Bank of Uganda to construct a currency centre therein. During the Christmas season, China Railway Group Limited fenced off part of the Golf Course land and started  clearing it to kick-start construction of the centre.

Christine Alupo, the Head of Communications at Bank of Uganda said in a telephone interview that they are aware of the project but could not give details. Alupo said a legal team will draft a special press release to explain the project.

On Wednesday, a group of residents stormed the construction site and demanded for halting of the project. But security operatives and Chinese contractors chased them away.

Robert Kambugu, a municipal councillor, says the council has never allocated the land for the construction of currency centre.

Kambugu wants both the town Clerk and the Mayor to call a public hearing and show a council minute approving change of user.

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Former Masaka Mayor, Charles Kasibante Kibabilire, says he is surprised all the green belts his executive jealousy protected have been given away to private developers.

Kibabilire suspects foul play in allocation of the green belts.

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But Kayemba has defended the allocation saying the executive approved the construction for fear of legal litigation.

Kayemba notes that Bank of Uganda which acquired this plot over 10 years ago had threatened legal action on grounds that it was paying ground rent yet the municipality declined to approve its plan.

But Uganda Golf Union has protested what it calls encroachment on its land. 

A letter issued by Bernard Mbayo, the Secretary Uganda Golf Union, says the construction of a currency centre on their land is illegal. He says they received funding from St. Andrew's Scotland which is meant to redevelop the Gold Course to resume operation.
  
Today, Members of Parliament from greater Masaka region are expected to visit the disputed Golf Course land.

 

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.