The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Ochola Okoth is seeking to evict the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) from Naguru police land.
Ochola who was represented by the Director of Human Rights and Legal Services, AIGP Erasmus Twaruhukwa was on Tuesday, appearing before the Subcommittee on Defence and Internal Affairs, that is probing encroachment of police land in Naguru.
In his statement as presented by the Director, Logistics and Engineering, AIGP Richard Edyegu, the IGP says that UNAFRI should vacate the 16.52 acreage land leased to them for failing to develop it as envisaged.
“UNAFRI has not proceeded to develop and utilize the land as was envisaged. To date, they have not proved to be beneficial to the Government in as far as their mandate is concerned,” Edyegu said.
In April 1998, Uganda was selected by the Conference of Ministers of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as the host of the UNAFRI whose objective was to promote collaborative activities and joint action on priority problems bearing on crime prevention and control in the development context. Part of the obligations of the host country was to provide residential accommodation, office space, classrooms and furniture to the institute. Indeed, in 2011, Government formalized a 99 year lease to UNAFRI including land housing 12 senior staff houses.
According to Police leadership, UNAFRI has since failed to develop the land and even rented out most of the residential houses including the 12 senior staff houses for income generation, contrary to the purpose for which the lease was given.
“This poses a security threat for the police establishment particularly because this is the same place that houses the Command center, armoury, counter-terrorism base and police headquarters,” Edyegu said.
Apparently, UNAFRI has since subleased 7.8 acres of the land to private business entities such as YUASA Car Bond and Future Group Limited contrary to the purpose for which the lease was given.
“It is therefore our prayer that the land comprising Plot 3 Mukabya Road and plots 2-8 on Katalima Road is returned to Uganda Police Force for further management and the 12 senior staff houses are immediately vacated and surrendered to Uganda Police Force,” he said.
In the wake of the failed attempts with several private developers, Police is now considering leasing to National Social Security Fund (NSSF) about 40.47 acres of land in exchange for construction of staff accommodation and a Forensics Laboratory.
“We have started looking at other developers like NSSF which has the money. They will build for us structures that are commensurate with the value of the land,” AIGP Twaruhukwa said. The land to be given to NSSF has been valued at about Shs180billion.
The chairperson of the subcommittee on Defence, Hon Donozio Mugabe Kahonda (Ruhinda South) was perplexed how Uganda Police Force has been leasing out its land with impunity. “I am told for Future Group Limited, it was an individual from outside police who ordered that land be given to them. Imagine UNAFRI, which is actually a defunct institute, is given a lease of less than 99 years, but they are able to sublease it at 99 year,” Hon Mugabe said.
AIGP Twaruhukwa said that UNAFRI has been dysfunctional since its inception and has not received any funding from the United Nations (UN).