The Board chairperson of Mediheal Group of Hospitals Uganda, Capt. Mike Mukula, has blamed Uganda Land Commission (ULC) for defying a presidential directive to give them land in the contested Nakawa-Naguru estate.
According to the former state minister for health, Mediheal Group of Hospitals in February 2021 requested for seven acres of land from the President to construct an ultramodern 350-bed hospital in Naguru but ULC has “frustrated” their efforts to date.
Mukula and other directors of the Kenyan based Mediheal Hospitals were on Wednesday, 27 April 2022 appearing before the Parliamentary ad hoc committee investigating the illegal allocation of land in Naguru chaired by Dan Kimosho.
“The President issued a directive to give us seven acres of land as requested after the then state minister of health, Robinah Nabbanja; then Minister of Kampala Capital City, Betty Amongi; and then Minister of Lands, Betty Kamya, identified free land in Naguru, but we could not get the land because ULC said there were some internal contradictions,” Mukula said.
Mukula said that their efforts to initiate a discourse with ULC to provide the said land were futile and this has since frustrated the multibillion project.
“Instead, the Uganda Land Commission advised us to take up other land in Butabika, which was not strategic for the investment because we needed to be near the Uganda Heart Institute so that we could synergize and work together,” Mukula said.
He added, “Because money was available and we could not wait to put up this hospital, we rented three floors in Kololo and you will be pleased that the equipment we have put there in less than one month is the most ultramodern equipment this country has had in medical care.”
He urged the committee to follow up the matter and ensure that the presidential directive is fulfilled.
The ad hoc committee chairperson, Kimosho, promised to study vital documents regarding the presidential directive and act accordingly.
“We will study the documents and put down our opinion in the report which will be made public. I hope that we will be convinced to support you because we are living in times where it is very difficult to support an investor in Uganda because the likely outcome may be very dangerous,” Kimosho said.
In 2007, the government signed a Public Private Partnership Agreement with an investor, Opec Prime Properties Ltd, to redevelop the Naguru-Nakawa housing estates into two ultramodern sustainable satellite towns.
However, when the investor failed to fulfil this obligation, Cabinet terminated the contract and the land was reclaimed by ULC. Part of the land had been irregularly given out to some investors and this prompted the then Deputy Speaker, Anita Among, to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter