The ‘old’ taxi park is being dug up currently hardly three months after billions of public funds were spent on upgrading the vital public facility.
We understand that wealthy people are digging up around the park to create space for them to erect shopping arcades.
But both government and the Kampala Capital City authorities had vowed before embarking on upgrade of the taxi park that they had reached an agreement with all private individuals to work on the park. They went ahead to proclaim that no one would be allowed to deprive the country of even an inch of the public land holding the park.
So what is going on at the taxi park currently though regrettable and annoying, helps to highlight the plunder, insensitivity and shamelessness on the part of the public officials entrusted with safeguarding the interests of the common man in Kampala.
It should be recalled that prior to the commencement of the actual works, scores of the city’s wealthy people had stepped out and claimed ownership of plots of land on the periphery of the taxi park.
Government and the city authorities quickly responded by dismissing the wealthy claimants as jokers and advised the public especially the taxi drivers not to worry about them.
The taxi park was quickly sealed off to keep off the private business people who were claiming portions of land around it.
Even then the wealthy business people insisted the plots they were claiming were theirs.
And government assuredly told the claimants to quickly look around for the nearby tree and hang.
Shortly thereafter, government with backing from the military drove the taxi drivers out of the park to pave way for the civil works.
The public was informed by both government and the city authorities that the dilapidated taxi park was going to be pulled down and replaced by an ultra-modern taxi holding facility.
The public was further informed that the new facility would come complete with ultra modern amenities including shopping malls and medical facilities.
Government alongside KCCA thereafter proceeded to spend a whooping UGX10 billion of public funds to fund the construction of the park and the other amenities we have talked about.
The general public believed what government and KCCA were telling the truth. They got the benefit of doubt and hence sat back and waited for the magnificent facilities that had been promised.
But deadlines came and passed without the contractors handing over the ultra-modern taxi park together with the ultra modern facilities we had been promised all along for the long overdue unveiling.
Meanwhile, the 14 tycoons, some of whom we have uncovered, decided to drag KCCA and the Attorney General to court in pursuit of the plots of land on the periphery of the park which former Mayor John Sebaana Kizito’s led council had sold to them. Still, government and KCCA assured the public that all was well.
According to reliable information, some of the tycoons include Godfrey Kirumira, Kizito Dick and Sudhir Rupaleria.
Our sources reveal that the tycoons have held several meetings with President Museveni to resolve the impasse, but in vain. It is reported that President Museveni promised to compensate the tycoons, so that the facility reverts to KCCA.
But after years of endless waiting, some of the tycoons have gotten frustrated and decided to develop the land before their leases expire.
The question everyone is asking, is why has the government chosen to withhold compensation for those vital plots, when they have paid off ghost landlords in far flung areas? Are there elements in government who benefit from the protracted nature of this dispute with the intention of reaping big at the end of it all? If this were the case, one would therefore come to the inevitable conclusion that this saga very much resembles the Crane Bank – Bank of Uganda scandal in which the ordinary tax payer is set to lose billions compensating Sudhir for ‘wrongful’ closure of his bank.