The Hammer is coming down in Kampala


The Hammer is coming down in Kampala

Talk about your basic reverse Shoupista — how bout this one — The planning department of the City of Kampala in Uganda is giving local businesses four months to return under building parking facilities that have been turned into shopping malls back into parking. If not, they are going to close the buildings down.

It would seem that the building owners who converted the parking to shopping don’t know what’s good for them.  Their tenants must not be complaining, obviously there are enough people around to fill the shopping areas, so what’s the big deal.

This is the classic issue of planning commissions ruling the day, and the developer or store owner being forced to provide parking where it is not needed — If it were needed, the buildings would have kept the spaces open, one would think.  However someone made a business decision to add shops where parking existed and of course the planning commission was up in arms.

Of course, If you read the last paragraph of the article, you find that the problem is more severe than my bon mots above. Seems the developers get approval for something, and then build something else. They do this by having armed guards on the building sites and not letting the inspectors in to the sites to see what’s being built.  Read it alll here.

I guess I can see how the local building inspectors and planning commission could be slightly piqued.

Ah, life in the colonies…


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John Van Horn

One Response

  1. I knew Kampala well. I was born there and went to one of the top universities in the world which is based just outside the main city area. Kampala, which is the capital city of Uganda, went through a most difficult time when the dictator Idi Amin seized control of the country through a coup. But Amin was toppled in 1980. They have had time to get a grip on things.
    African cities have been coping with one of the common and most difficult challenges in the developing world – the drift of people from villages to the towns and cities. Resources have been under immense pressure, creating major challenges for city governments to take control of various aspects of enforcement. But isn’t that a common problem for all urban conurbations?
    It would be most interesting to see how they deal with the issues that you have raised. When I went to Nairobi in 1994, I also saw how small businesses and traders had just taken over footpaths to establish their shanties. Many traders were happily parking on the footpaths. I leave you to imagine where people were forced to walk!
    Kalwant Ajimal
    England, UK.

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