The director of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Dr Ambrose Agona has rubbished reports that the Entebbe Botanical Gardens were leased off.
On November 18, 2019, sections of the print media claimed that the 120 year old Botanical Gardens located in Entebbe had been leased out by NARO to an investor from Megha Industries who is also the owner of the near by Victoria Mall.
According to the same report, the investor was to construct a sewage management plant that would expand Victoria Mall’s sewerage system.
However, In an interview with local media, Dr Agona said that the gardens were not leased out.
Dr Agona said that that, Victoria Mall owners just wanted to construct a mega septic tank from their premises to the gardens which will be short term but not a lease as stated in the media.
“The owners of Victoria Mall wanted to construct a mega septic tank from the hotel to where the gardens are. This will be short term and not a lease as such. It’s nothing like a lease,” he said in part.
The Minister of Agriculture, Vincent Ssempijja also said that he is not yet aware of any lease pertaining to Botanical Gardens.
“I am not aware of this transfer of the Entebbe Botanical Gardens. I am not aware of its transfer from one owner to another,” Ssempijja said.
Entebbe Botanical Gardens have been in existence since 1898 which makes them one of the oldest in the country with over 121 years. The gardens sit on a vast area of 40 hectares and are home to over 400 trees and 115 different bird species.