Legislators from the Parliament’s Infrastructure Committee have called upon Denis Omodi Alyela, the Nakawa Division Town Clerk, to address concerns regarding an ongoing unauthorized construction atop a water channel on plot 3A² and 3A³ at Sports Lane, Lugogo.
The investigation stems from a site visit conducted on October 11, 2023, at Forest Mall, Lugogo, where committee members discovered that Stanslas Isiagi, a city developer and the managing director of Old Stanley Hotel, was developing a property over the water channel.
During a meeting held on Thursday, October 12, with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the committee, led by Dan Kimosho (Kazo County, NRM), revealed that the ongoing construction over the water channel was responsible for the recent flooding witnessed at Forest Mall. Videos of shops flooding after heavy rain had gone viral.
The Parliament Criminal Investigation Department of Police has designated the Forest Mall area as a crime scene for three days to conduct further investigations into the development, according to Detective Charles Twine, the head of CID at Parliament.
During the site visit, MPs disclosed that the State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye, attempted to summon Isiagi to the site, but he declined, fearing arrest. Instead, he promised to send people to dismantle the construction.
In the meeting, the town clerk, when contacted, cited a stomach ailment as the reason for his inability to attend.
Correspondence seen by MPs showed that Isiagi had written to the town clerk on July 27, 2023, seeking permission to remodel the newly acquired property for commercial purposes. In response, the town clerk, in a letter dated August 14, 2023, approved the proposal, stating that it met the necessary requirements for remodeling. This letter was copied to various KCCA officials.
However, KCCA’s Executive Director, Dorothy Kisaka, and Deputy Executive Director, Eng. David Luyimbazi, denied having seen the letter. Kisaka questioned its authenticity, emphasizing the need for the clerk’s presence for verification due to the high volume of letters received.
David Luyimbazi, KCCA’s Deputy Executive Director, stressed the importance of obtaining development and building permissions, with the building committee chairperson having the final say on such matters.
Moses Charles Nambassi, the physical planner for Nakawa Division at KCCA, faced accusations of collusion with the developer and the town clerk as he provided contradictory statements. The committee referred Nambassi to Parliament CID for further interrogation, although Minister Kyofatogabye requested that he be questioned the next day.
The developer, Isiagi, initially claimed to have obtained permission from the town clerk but later asked Parliament for leniency, expressing a willingness to demolish the site himself. He explained his intention to remodel the channel to provide a shelter for children and requested Parliament’s guidance and forgiveness.
Committee members questioned KCCA’s planning department and monitoring capabilities, expressing concerns about the city’s developments proceeding without proper documentation and in unauthorized locations.
MPs noted that KCCA’s demolition efforts at the site appeared inadequate, claiming that they had only used pickaxes and had not yet completed the demolition due to equipment being in use at other sites.