UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The government has made a significant decision to compensate all the persons affected by the Kampala-Jinja expressway project. This decision comes after initial plans to compensate only those who could provide proof of land ownership caused dissatisfaction among a large number of claimants.
During a stakeholders meeting held on Friday 26th May 2023, representatives from the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), the Ministry of Works, and the affected persons reached an agreement that ensured fair and equitable compensation for everyone affected by the project.
The gazetting of vast land by the Uganda National Roads Authority years ago marked the beginning of the development of the 95 km Kampala-Jinja Expressway.
While the government has made progress in compensating individuals with legitimate claims to the affected land, a significant percentage of the project-affected persons (PAPs) were left uncertain about their compensation as the government initially stated it would not compensate them.
These individuals, numbering 7,136, make up approximately 34% of the project-affected persons and do not have legal claims to the land.
Allen Kagina, the Executive Director of UNRA, explained that the current resettlement and compensation methodology, as approved by the chief government valuer, does not apply to those individuals who do not possess recognizable legal rights or claims to the land or assets they currently occupy.
As a result, no compensation has been provided to PAPs falling under this category.
The UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, says, ” The existing resettlement and compensation methodology approved by the chief government valuer is not applicable to the people who have no recognisable legal right or claim to the land or assets that they currently occupy. No PAPs in this category have been compensated to date.”
In a recent development aimed at advancing the USh800 billion project, the government has revised its earlier decision and agreed to resettle the individuals who primarily occupy the affected land.
Kagina further stated, “In the context of this loan agreement signed between the government of Uganda and the Development Financing Institutions, these PAPs are also eligible for compensation.”
Musa Ecweru, the Minister for Works and Transport, urged the government to take note of the land acquisition status, compensation, resettlement, and livelihood restoration of PAPs concerning the Kampala-Jinja Expressway project.
He emphasised the need for the cabinet to acknowledge the proposed methodology for compensating, resettling, and restoring the livelihoods of individuals who do not have a recognised legal interest in the land.
Ecweru also stressed the importance of accurate data collection by the UNRA team and local leaders, using modern biometrics, to ensure that the compensated individuals are properly recorded and accounted for.
While individuals with legitimate land claims receive compensation for their land and property, those falling under category 3 will be resettled to a location determined by the government.
However, leaders in the affected areas have called for scrutiny to ensure that the resettlement process results in equitable and fair compensation, rather than merely relocating individuals without providing appropriate value for their land and property.
Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Member of Parliament for Kira Municipality, highlighted the need for differentiated compensation amounts based on the number of plots owned.
He argued that it would be unfair to compensate someone with multiple plots the same amount as someone with only one plot.
Paul Mugambe, the Mayor of Nakawa Division, expressed his satisfaction upon hearing Minister Ecweru’s assurance that individuals without legal recognition of the land would also be compensated.
The Kampala-Jinja Expressway, set to be completed in 2026, will span 95 km. The second phase of construction is scheduled to begin later this year. Similar to the Entebbe Expressway, the Kampala-Jinja Expressway will operate as a toll road, effectively reducing traffic congestion along the Kampala-Jinja highway.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: