JINJA-The Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Jinja City, Saleh Kamba, has ordered Jinja City Council authorities to stop demolishing and evicting tenants occupying old buildings on Plot 1c Iganga Road.
The order came after over 30 tenants occupying a building located on Plot 1C Iganga Road in Jinja City were set to be evicted.
One of the tenants Enock Kwagala in an interview with Busoga Today said a group of men, about 50 in number, armed with sledge hammers last month attempted to demolish a building they have been occupying since childhood.
Jinja City is one of the cities in the country that has old buildings with Asian architecture. These buildings were formerly owned by Indians and this particular one is allegedly owned by Vigya Kotecha who currently lives in England.
The tenants claim they have been paying rent to the Custodian Board for over 20 years and were shocked when heavily build men attempted to evict them.
Iganga Road LC1 chairperson Patrick Wanume said there is a mafia gang attempting to use courts and police to own the building that does not belong to them.
“This gang came with papers stamped by court and lawyers claiming they own the building,” Wanume said.
Sabehe Mayanja from the Department of Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board (DAPCB), an auxiliary institution of the Ministry of Finance, said those evicting people have no rights to do so.
Jinja city has more than 100 old units of Asian architecture in the city which have divided some leaders and residents with some calling for their demolition while others want them preserved for posterity.
Authorities note that the city has a huge bearing on the Asian community and thus the old structures should remain part of its history but others contend that they are in a dilapidated state, unfit for a city.
A source who preferred anonymity said most buildings are corroded and being occupied rent-free because they lack water and functional drainage systems.