The residents under the Kasoli Tenants SACCO Ltd acquired the loan in 2013 to construct 250 housing units under the Kasoli Housing Project on 5.5 hectares of land and that 250 families had been identified with over 2000 people to benefit from the project.
A total of 250 families in Tororo are seeking
parliament’s intervention to stop their impending eviction from land
that they used as collateral to secure a loan from DFCU Bank.
residents under the Kasoli
Tenants SACCO Ltd acquired
the loan in 2013 to construct 250 housing units under the Kasoli Housing
Project on 5.5 hectares of land and that 250 families had been
over 2000 people to benefit from the project. But they stopped financing
the 2.5 billion Shillings loan facility
after receiving a letter from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) informing
them of an intention to acquire the land to construct a railway line.
William Muyanja, the Chairman of Kasoli Tenants SACCO told Parliament’s
Physical Infrastructure Committee that the residents expected the
through the SGR project to compensate them for the land and in turn, pay
bank loan. But the compensation has never materialized, and they are now
impending eviction from the Bank.
The MPs have since learnt that the community members who are property owners in Kasoli
slum organized themselves earlier in 2003 under the SACCO to pilot the housing project
on the land that belonged to Uganda Lands Commission (ULC).
“In 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between five stakeholders
including Kasoli community represented by Kasoli tenants SACCO, Ministry of
Lands, UN-Habitat, DFCU Bank and Tororo Municipal Council and the five were to
cordially steer the project construction. The memorandum gave land to the sitting
tenants of Kasoli as a government contribution at a minimal cost and this was
later waived off to make the houses affordable to the beneficiaries,” reads
part of the petition.
The project implementation started in 2012 by identifying and signing a
contract agreement between Kasoli SACCO and Empire contractors and the
beneficiaries paid an advance deposit of 10 per cent of the expected cost of the houses,
and the bank loan duration to take 15 to 20 years. The first phase was completed in 2016 with 92 houses built and the
beneficiaries who had deposited the 10 per cent requirement were allocated houses as
the rest of the beneficiaries wait on the second phase.
“As we were preparing house warming party, we received a letter dated
March 1 2016 from Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) informing us of their
to acquire land for construction of SGR station and that it was
whole Kasoli Housing project area,” said Muyanja.
He said that this notice halted the project and prompted the residents to
stop financing their loans with the hope of receiving compensation from the government
in three months.
//Cue in; “the delayed payment…
Cue in…to leave us.”//
The residents have so far been served with two notices
of default by Sebalu and Lule Advocates, representing DFCU Bank on March 17, 2020, and November 12, 2020.
Also, eviction notices have been served by Bemug
Strict Auctioneers and Court bailiffs on April 23, 2021, and September
19, 2021, giving them only 30 days to clear all the outstanding loans or
vacate the property within 14 days from the date of service despite the
being 15 years.
The residents asked Parliament to help stop the
ongoing eviction orders and force SGR to either compensate the residents so
that they pay back DFCU or Government writes a letter of commitment that they
would pay off the loan.
Sarah Opendi, the Tororo Woman MP said that Kasoli was a real slum and the
project was a model project that Government would learn and replicate same projects
in other parts of Uganda. She said that the project was messed up by the poor
planners in Government.
//Cue in; “if there was…
Cue out…prepare to vacate.”//
Roland Ndyomugyenyi, the Rukiga County MP said that scrutiny into the
documents reveals that at the time the loan was acquired, the government hadn’t
registered the land in the names of Kasoli SACCO.
//Cue in; “the land had…
Cue out...transferred to Kasoli.”//
Hillary Lakwang, the Ik County MP also wondered how DFCU came to approve
loan when the Kasoli SACCO had no land title registered in its name.
“Before getting the loan, the borrowers should have brought the land
This is like a betrayal to the Kasoli people. How did DFCU give you the loan
you don’t have the loan title?” he asked.
Attan Moses, the Soroti East MP also wondered why the land had not been transferred
to the Kasoli residents.
//Cue in; “because if the…
Cue out…supposed to do.”//
However, Timothy Kazibwe, the Kasoli SACCO lawyer said the government admitted
it was an oversight to transfer the mortgage title to DFCU Bank before
transferring the land title to the SACCO.
//Cue in; “then the transfer…
Cue out…issue of ownership.”//
Documents before the committee show that DFCU extended the 2.5 billion loan
on 19th March 2013 to the SACCO and the borrowers also paid 37
million Shillings in the facility and an additional 37.5 million in legal fees to the lawyers
for drafting the loan contract.