Gulu municipality has started demolishing old and condemned buildings as they gear up towards gaining the city status. On Wednesday, a grader pulled down St. Luke George’s house, one of the oldest buildings constructed in the 1960’s.
A section of the dilapidated building killed two children in 2009 who were taking shelter in it from rain. This made it top the list of 114 condemned buildings inspected by a team of engineers and health experts in 2010.
Grass thatched huts and those operating from road reserves in the municipality are also affected.
The LC3 chairperson of Bar Dege division Patrick Oola Lumumba who over saw the launch of the demolition process said the exercise is a leap forward as the municipality is expected to become a city next year. He added that the exercise will progress in phases.
Meanwhile a petition was filed in court by property owners to halt the the demolition process in March this year. They were protesting the two weeks ultimatum by the Gulu municipal council who wanted kiosks and dilapidated buildings out of the municipality. Consequently, the Gulu high court responded by issuing a temporal court injunction until August 17th, 2017.
Alfred Oluba, the Layibi division chairperson said the exercise will continue despite a court injunction by the the property owners.
Leonard Odoki, the chairperson of the of the association of the property owners in the municipality said it is contempt of court order if the exercise continues.
The demolition exercise is part of the conditions for the development of the municipality under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID), that is funded by world bank.