KAMPALA: Lotigo Properties Limited, the proprietor of Lotis Towers, has run to court seeking orders to stop proceedings by the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure on the state of the 14–level office Block on Mackinnon Road, Kampala.
The committee commenced a probe following reports of a compression failure of a reinforced concrete column on the sixth floor of the building that threatened the structural integrity of the building.
The building was constructed by Roko Construction and completed in 2019. Tenants including Cairo Bank, Judicial Service Commission, and BAT among others were ordered to vacate the building by KCCA in August.
Lotigo Properties, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), and the National Building Review Board (NBRB) were summoned by the committee in September.
Through their lawyers ALP East Africa Advocates, the building’s management wants the court to declare that proceedings, orders, and decisions of the Parliamentary committee on Lotis Towers interfere with the powers of KCCA and the NBRB, contrary to the Building Control Act of 2013.
Lawyer Francis Gimara filed an application that will be heard by the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala ex-parte. An ex-parte application is heard in absence of the other party.
Lotigo Properties also wants court to issue orders stopping the evacuation of the building arguing that due diligence was not done by KCCA in terms of inspecting the building before recommending the occupants to vacate.
On August 17, KCCA director of engineering, Eng. Jacob Byabakama had directed that all occupants vacate Lotis Towers.
The building’s Property Manager Ms. Kemigisha said an assessment was carried out by project engineers M/S Armstrong Consulting Engineers Limited and a report was issued indicating that the building was fit for occupation. She said a copy of the report was submitted to the relevant authorities on August 29.
“The actions of the respondent in insisting on the vacation of Lotis Towers without a technical assessment report contradicting or challenging the report submitted by M/S Armstrong Engineers and MS Armstrong Consulting Limited is irrational,” she stated.
Kemigisha said that when the crack was reported, the management took responsible steps and the matter was reported to engineers who subsequently rectified the problem.
The Lotis Towers management says that many city buildings have collapsed and Parliament has never visited those locations and wondered why they singled out Lotis for investigations.