Police Shs174 billion forensic project fails to take off

Kampala- A Shs174 billion project in which the Chinese firm was to construct a forensic laboratory for the police in exchange for a 60-acre piece of land at Naguru Police Barracks has failed to take off.

The project was launched in December last year by the former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, and the construction was expected to take 13 months.

It is now eight months down the road and nothing has been done on the site.

Mr Billy Cheung Yiu Tung, the owner of the firm, said they are ready to implement their obligations if the Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, approves the project.

“We are waiting for the paperwork to be approved. We are waiting for him to come on board,” Mr Cheung said on Wednesday.

Deputy police spokesman Patrick Onyango said the new police management is still studying the project.

“The new management is studying the project carefully. They want to know what is in it. They cannot rush into approving a project whose legality will be questioned by you (the public),” Mr Onyango said.

The company was chosen through a ministerial committee led by the State Minister of Lands, Ms Persis Namuganza.

The Chinese investors were planning to construct a 50-storey residential building, shopping malls, a hotel and a business park in 32 months.

Accommodation issues
During the negotiations last year, some senior police officers had protested the signing of the deal, saying it was less than the value of land that was to be parcelled out to the Chinese firm.

They said the parcelling out of 60 acres was to displace thousands of police officers yet the housing shortage in the Force was critical. At least 30,000 police officers lack accommodation.

But Gen Kayihura said the government valuers from Uganda Land Commission valued the land and consented to the deal.

Previous attempts
This is the second time the police have delayed the Naguru land development. In 2011, Ahadi Consortium, a British-Ugandan consortium that won the Public-Private Procurement bid to redevelop the land, was dumped under unclear circumstances.

The firm had promised to construct housing units for police officers and commercial projects.

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