MASAKA CITY: Martin Kigozi, the Masaka City Physical Planner, is in trouble for allegedly approving the construction of buildings in gazetted road reserves and greenbelts.
The City Roads Committee, alongside the Resident City Commissioner, on Friday evening handed Kigozi to police to record a statement over his alleged involvement in the creation of illegal plots and approving construction plans in road reserves.
Ronald Katende Kinene, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner, called in the police that arrested Kigozi after the Roads Committee while on their inspection tour found several public roads had been blocked by private developers on approval by the Physical Planner.
The City Roads Committee, chaired by Doctor Abed Bwanika, the Member of Parliament for Kimanya-Kabonera Division, intercepted a private developer who was erecting a parameter wall that was partly blocking Nalubaale road.
On being questioned, the developer produced an approved structural plan from the office of the Physical Planner, which infuriated the committee members before they instantly called Kigozi to the site to explain the anomaly.
Although Kigozi laboured to disassociate himself from the illegal construction, alleging that the developer was constructing based on an old structural plan approved in 2011, his explanation instead upset the City Mayor, Florence Namayanja, who accused him of double standards.
Namayanja told the committee that the City Physical Planning Committee and Executive had earlier cancelled all construction plans that had been approved on illegal plots, but to her surprise, Kigozi unscrupulously went against their decision and allowed some people to proceed with construction.
In addition to recording a statement to police, Ronald Kasekende, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner, also wants the Physical Planner to face other anti-corruption agencies of either the State House or the Inspector General of Government. He accuses Kigozi of attempting to dupe the roads committee by presenting cooked-up structural designs with the intention of fitting in the illegal structures.
The committee eventually resolved to halt all ongoing questionable construction projects approved by Kigozi until they undergo verification by the City Building Review Committee.
The committee also considered petitioning the Ministry of Public Service to complain about the chronic irregularities presided over by the Physical Planner and to demand his removal from Masaka.
However, in his defense, Kigozi argues that the cited irregularities that include plots in road reserves were created by the former Masaka District Land Board, which he says messed up land management and property ownership in the town.
He called upon the City Roads Committee to prefer a comprehensive inquiry into the origin of creating illegal plots in the area rather than piling the entire blame on him alone.