The Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) has asked President Museveni to intervene in a row with Uganda Investment Authority over a piece land in Namanve industrial park.
According to the UVA president, Dr.Sylvia Baluka the veterinary body acquired an acre of land in 2014 to build a value addition facility and signed a lease agreement with Uganda Investment Authority at $80,000( approximately shs299m) but they could not pay the entire sum at once.
“Given the nature of association which is member-based and money can only be got from the subscription of our members annually, we decided to pay in in installments until a year later when government decided that investors are given land free of charge in the industrial park,”Baluka told journalists on Saturday.
She explained that despite the money to acquire the piece of land being waived they have not yet been able to construct the facility that she said requires over shs2 billion.
“In order to raise the amount, it would require each member to pay at least shs3 million yet a number of our members are either fresh graduates who are not yet employed or are no longer working. We therefore have not been able to raise money for the development of the plot of land we acquired in the industrial park.’
According to the Uganda Veterinary Association president, the Uganda Investment Authority recently asked them to vacate the land for not developing it.
In an October,28, 2020 letter to Baluka, the acting Uganda Investment Authority Director-General, Lawrence Byensi informed the Uganda Veterinary Association that another investor, Prompt Supply 2011 Limited wants to use the land.
“This is to inform you that your lease for this plot expired on April,30, 2019 without any tangible development on the ground. The additional one-year period also expired with any physical development. Accordingly, this plot has been reallocated to another investor,” Byensi says in the letter.
However, according to Baluka, despite being interested in developing the land, they are not yet able to do so because they are incapacitated.
“Being local investors, government ought to look into our issue. The fact that we have been paying ground rent shows our commitment to develop the land. Since government has no facility for internship for veterinary doctors, we think by assisting us construct the facility, it will benefit the country,”Baluka said.
According to the Uganda Veterinary Association president, it is high time President Museveni intervened in the matter and got concerned over the plight of young veterinary doctors.
“He should extend an olive branch to us. The facility will be employing fresh graduates from university who would otherwise be on the street without jobs. The facility that we wish to construct is the entry point of fresh graduates to the job market,”Baluka said.
“By the President coming to our rescue, we will be able to develop the land but also create jobs for professional veterinary doctors and contribute to Uganda’s development.”