Speaking to journalists on Wednesday at the Media Centre, Katumba stated that they have reached an agreement with the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA to hand over the park by Friday or Saturday of this week so that the Works Ministry can demarcate stages. Katumba made this statement while addressing the journalists.
According to General Katumba, one of the actions that are designed to make it possible for students to return to school in a secure environment is the reopening of the park.
The Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA kicked off the park’s repairs in May of 2020 with the intention of having them finished in the following three months. Despite this, as of yet, the park is still closed, and only a portion of the repairs have been completed.
Before reopening, the KCCA intended to construct restrooms, passenger sheds, and stage demarcation, among other things, among the considerable works that were finished by October 2021. These works included laying the pavements and building the drainage system.
However, the KCCA Council decided to open the park on October 20 while construction is still ongoing. This decision ran into trouble when five corporations sued the KCCA for trespassing on their territory and received an interim injunction to prevent the re-opening of the park.
The companies involved are as follows: Lukyamuzi Investments Ltd., which owns 0.058 hectares; DKS Uganda Ltd., which owns 0.135 hectares; Key and Ham Investments Ltd., which also owns 0.058 hectares; Abamwe Transporters Ltd., which owns 0.067 hectares; and Kabale Distributors Ltd., which owns 0.067 hectares (0.55 hectares).
Late in 2018, the corporations were also successful in obtaining a temporary injunction that prevents KCCA or any of its agents from using the land pending the outcome of the legal proceedings over the dispute.
As the construction in the park moves on, according to Gen. Katumba, the KCCA is going to keep communicating with the five different firms. URN has been informed by a source with information from KCCA that the Authority is currently negotiating compensation with the affected landowners.
Moses Birungi, who acts as the spokesperson for the Kampala Operational Taxi Stages Association, believes that the park has to be operational prior to the reopening of schools in order to ensure the students’ ability to commute safely.
Rashid Ssekindi, the head of Uganda Taxi Operators Federation-UTOF, expressed his approval of the idea to re-open the park, stating that the decision came at the appropriate time. When asked how ready they were to get back inside the park, Ssekindi responded by saying that every operator is required to return to their own stage.
In the year 2020, the KCCA and the Ministry of Works began the process of registering taxis and giving out route charts as part of that process. However, taxi operators contested the process, arguing that there was a duplication of phases and that temporary charts were given to new operators without taking into account the existing operators who already had membership at the various stages in parks.
According to Ssekindi, taxi operators must continue to adhere to the stage rules as they begin to restart operations. These criteria are to be followed until the government completes the registration of taxis and begins the operationalization of route charts.
According to Gard Mugisha, the Chairman of the Taxi Owners Association, some of the association’s taxis have been confiscated for improper parking due to the absence of a defined space in which to conduct business.
The KCCA had designated Burton street and the Cooper complex as parking areas for taxis, but these areas were insufficient to accommodate the more than 400 cabs that needed parking space.