PUBLIC OUTRAGE AS CHURCH IS RAZED AND FORMER NORMAN CINEMA SET FOR DEMOLITION
There has been public outraged following the demolition of an Anglican church in the city suburb of Ndeeba in Rubaga Division. Also demolished is Pioneer Mall and plans are underway to raze the Watoto Church housed in the former Norman Cinema .
According to statement by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema Head State House Anti- Corruption unit , several police officers and a KCCA Physical planner have been arrested and will be charged with neglect of duty. The officers arrested are; the DPC Katwe, SP David Epedu, OC Station Ndeeba Police Station, ASP Mugira Yeko Kato, and the Field Force Unit Commander Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) South Region, ASP Isabirye Kaloli.
Another 11 suspects were also arrested and these include, Mohammad Kawooya, Minority Bbosa, Amza Kiberu, Abbasid Mutebi, Ali Bulega, Simon Matovu, Ali Kalika, Andrew Mujuzi, Barry Ssekito, John Isirinya and Bashir Maruti.
“They are currently detained at Katwe Police Station to help with investigations. The suspects are charged with malicious damage to properties,” said police spokesman Onyango.
Police also impounded two motor vehicles that were recovered from the scene and these are; a white Toyota Canter registration number UAY 796N, which was loaded with metals, and a tractor/engineering plant excavator registration number UBG 682Q.
Civil society up in arms against demolition of the former Norman Cinema
The Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), a local NGO that promotes the recognition of the role of culture in development of our national identity and diversity, is against the demolition of the building given its historical, social and architectural significance.
The Executive Director of CCFU Ms. Emily Drani, argued that Norman cinema was the home of the creative industry in the 60s and 70s and its among the 44 listed historic sites in Kampala city.
“Our city is not just an eventful place; it is a place where things happen and the evidence of that are the buildings. If we are to say that we are a country that has a history and identity, let the markers of that history be retained,” she said.
According to Mr.Simon Musasizi, the programme manager at Heritage Trust, KCCA is yet to strengthen the laws protecting historic buildings in the city.
Musasizi noted that the lease agreement between the Kampala District Land Board (KDLB) and the Watoto church management does not permit Watoto Church to alter, modify or demolish the said building without prior consent of the KDBL.
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