KCCA and 10 companies owning different sizes of plots inside Old Taxi Park signed an MOU on December 10th, 2020 in respect to the 2019 Court order by the High Court Land Division authorizing vacant possession of the said plots of land.
Park Nkadde Mall around Old Taxi Park
It has emerged that police in response to a Memorandum of
Understanding- MOU between Kampala Capital City Authority –KCCA and owners of
plots in the Old Taxi Park cleared the vacant possession of plots but did not
provide the personnel.
KCCA and 10 companies owning different sizes of plots inside Old Taxi Park
signed an MOU on December 10th, 2020 in respect to the 2019 Court order by the
High Court Land Division authorizing vacant possession of the said plots of
Plot owners, according to High Court order and MOU include Abamwe Transporters
Ltd, M/S Kabale Distributors Ltd, Contractors & Transport Services Limited,
D.K.S Uganda Limited, Key & Ham Investments Ltd, Aponye Uganda Limited,
Lukyamuzi Investments Ltd, City Oil (U) Ltd, Shumuk Industries Ltd and The
Giant Eagle Mobile Phones & Accessories Ltd.
The MOU was to ensure that KCCA renovates the unoccupied carpet area of the Old
Taxi Park but in so doing, it was to safeguard individual plots. In case of encroachment,
KCCA was to compensate owners.
URN has seen an MOU signed between KCCA and people who purchase plots in the
Old Taxi Park for more than 15 years and a police letter that cleared the
possession. In the MOU signed last year, KCCA was represented by the Executive
Director, Legal director where KCCA was to allow plot owners to develop their
areas after the public space has been renovated.
“…KCCA to grant the developers vacant possession of their respective properties
immediately after the refurbishment of the carpet area of the Old Taxi Park but
in any case, before Taxis are allowed back into the same and to develop their
plots in line with the approved development plan per the terms of the Consent
Judgement and Lease agreements,” reads the MOU.
KCCA embarked on renovating the Old Taxi Park in May 2020. Barely a fortnight
ago, chaos ensued in the night hours inside the Park when groups of people
started erecting perimeter walls using iron sheets purposely to mark their
plots of land.
When the news of plots being marked inside the Park circulated, taxi drivers
and conductors, emerged from all corners of the City ready to confront people
who were marking their plots.
Even though Kampala Central Police Station –CPS is just a stone
throw, it did not intervene. Neither did Katwe, Old Kampala or Wandegeya police
divisions bother to deploy their personnel to contain the situation.
A security source has intimated to Uganda Radio Network the situation was
contained after one of the KCCA directors contacted the commanders of Special
Forces Command –SFC soldiers who normally monitor the City at the night.
“When the SFC soldiers were contacted, they were asked to intervene because it
was likely to turn into a bloody situation since taxi drivers and conductors
had come to confront people who were marking their plots. Almost everyone
scampered after seeing SFC soldiers. The soldiers did not arrest anyone because
their order was to restore normalcy,” the source said.
When KCCA started redeveloping the taxi park, it included even areas which are
owned by individuals. As the new KCCA director Dorothy Kisaka, announced that
the Park was to be reopened to taxis, the affected persons tabled a complaint
and an MOU to Land Protection Police Unit (LPPU) based Criminal Investigations
Directorate –CID headquarters at Kibuli.
The LLPU commandant, Charles Mutungi, consulted the police’s Legal directorate
at police headquarters. Mutungi on May 20th this year wrote to Kampala
Metropolitan KMP Policing Area Commander, Moses Kafeero.
Kafeero also directed the KMP Regional Police Commander to read the MOU
carefully and implement it. The RPC KMP South also directed the CPS Division
Police Commander to implement the directive.
“Take note that parties are required to obey, observe and abide by this
order/decree and any disobedience of the same shall be cited for contempt of
Court. Police officers deployed are tasked ONLY to read and explain the
contents of the order to the parties, witness, keep law and order but should
not in any way participate in the exercise,” reads the RPC final orders.
But police did not provide the personnel. It was when plot owners decided to
hire groups to mark their plots in the night. A senior police officer told URN
that deployment was abandoned after assessing it was going to cause chaos since
the City is always occupied by a big number of people.
“You know Kampala has very many people during day time. It would be a risk to
send our officers to witness possession of plots. Court orders are also not
supposed to be implemented during the night or weekend. The LPPU commander said
we should just witness but not participate. That was very confusing,” a senior
police officer said.
Efforts to speak to relevant police spokespersons were futile as they declined
to comment on the matter. The Park is currently protected by a joint covert and
overt security team.
Senior Staff Reporter
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.