Otim says the demolition exercise, which has already started following conclusion of an agreement with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcement department, targets both permanent and temporary structures that were erected after UETCL dully compensated the owners of the land.
Otim noted that some of the victims of the evictions include hundreds of unsuspecting people who were duped either by the compensated land owners or by city crooks, to buy land under the transmission lines. He noted that besides blocking access to engineers who carry out regular maintenance work, the structures and other economic activities such as market vending, brick-laying expose thousands of people to very serious dangers such as diseases and electrocution that is associated with working within the gazetted areas.
Otim says: “Those people to be affected were compensated during the constructions of the lines but they have adamantly refused to vacate and they illegally and deliberately sold off the lands to unsuspecting persons.”
He adds that the power company has issued notices to people but also the agency plans to prevent future encroachments.
“A contract has been signed with contractors from KCCA to demolish all the new structures and brick laying that are 20meters on either side from the centers of the Bujagali- Kawanda – Mutundwe transmission power line,” said Otim.
Areas affected include Nakawa, Bwaise, Mulago, Numungona, Mutundwe, Ndeba, Bukoto,Naguru, Kyambogo, Nateete, and other areas outside Kampala include, Nansana, Busega, Nsanvu, Nyenje, Natonko, Nama, Nabusugwe in Wakiso district and in Mukono district.
Otim adds that encroachers within the high voltage installation ways will be punished by imprisonment and fines as determined by courts of laws.
“Over time UETCL has experienced an increase in the number of encroachments along its high voltage way leaves corridors in form of permanent and semi-permanent structures like kiosks, garbage heaps, soil excavations, grabbing, dumping and planting of vegetation which comprises of the clearance of the conductors,’ noted Otim.