The Ministry of Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs has appealed to Parliament for an appropriation of 40 billion Ugandan Shillings to compensate former tenants of the Nakawa-Naguru housing estate. The compensation is sought for those displaced to make way for a Satellite City project by Opec Prime, a private investor, which was later canceled.
The government initially evicted the tenants to facilitate the construction of the Satellite City. However, following the project’s failure, the Cabinet decided to cancel the agreement and allocate the land to multiple private developers. The compensation request was presented by Sadat Kisubi, Assistant Commissioner of Finance and Planning in the President’s Office, during an appearance before the Presidential Affairs Committee to discuss the 2024/25 national budget framework for the Ministry of Kampala.
The issue of compensation has been ongoing for years, with a funding gap of 40 billion Shillings. Kisubi emphasized the urgency of resolving this matter, noting that some individuals are facing health challenges, and it would be unfortunate if they passed away without receiving their compensation.
Naome Kabasharira, MP Rushenyi County, expressed frustration at the government’s failure to compensate those displaced from their homes, especially after the Opec Prime Project failed to materialize. The compensation offer of 40.562 billion Shillings made in April 2022 was rejected by the former tenants, who considered it inadequate. Instead, they proposed that the government secure about 30 acres of land for them to develop independently.
Maj Gen Henry Matsiko, Army MP, questioned the delay in addressing these compensations, considering the sensitivity of the matter. In response, Kisubi highlighted the complexity of the issue and the need for a comprehensive resolution.
In addition to the compensation request, Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Minsa Kabanda, called on Parliament to enact a law prohibiting the public from giving money and items to street children. She argued that the government spends significant resources relocating vulnerable children, who often return to the streets with the expectation of receiving money.
The minister’s request for legislative intervention comes amidst ongoing challenges in dealing with street children, and she emphasized the need for a more sustainable solution beyond budget allocations for periodic operations.