Kampala Mayor Speaks out on Park Yard Market Demolition: Govt on Land Grabbing Spree

Kampala city mayor Erias Lukwago has accused government of land grabbing attempts hours after police sealed off Park Yard Market, a Kampala downtown market as a demolition exercise went ahead, 10 days to a deadline given to traders to vacate.

Kampala minister Beti Kamya had issued a 30-day ultimatum to the traders in a directive issued on February 7, 2017. The directive was hinged on Kamya’s argument that the land in question was a property of Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium who had agreed to hand it over to government for redevelopment.

But 10 days to the ultimatum, demolitions began under the blanket of the night and police protection at about 4am local time, turning merchandise into debris – putting livelihoods at stake.

Lukwago has now reacted to the move to evict the trade, describing the many government attempts to redevelop the city as a ruse to grab land.

“This is just a matter of land grabbing, just like the commission of inquiry that has been set up to probe land matters in Uganda, Museveni and his government are all out to grab land,” he said.

On the way forward, Lukwago vowed to take on Kamya, in what already seems like a battle of supremacy between the office of an opposition-leaning mayor and a government minister.

“We are doing our best to challenge the directive and I have called for a council meeting at 10am to review that decision and take drastic measures against the Kampala Minister (Beti Kamya].”

Report/Samuel Kamugisha

Additional Reporting & Photo/Courtesy