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Golf Union Protests Construction of Currency Centre 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. Andrews Scotland which is meant to redevelop the Gold Course to resume operation.
Workers fencing off part of Masaka Golf Course land.

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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.

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