By Morris Rawal
Sports Club Villa Executive met with the supporters on Sunday, September 11, 2022, at Villa Park.
The meeting was convened by Eng: Immanuel Ben Missaga, the club’s previous president and current vice president for mobilization and fan affairs on the Executive.
The senior vice president, Bakaki Daniel, spoke for the club president, Hajji Omar Mandela, and conveyed the message to the attendees of the meeting on a variety of subjects.
The senior President said that the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) compensation money for destroying a part of Villa Park in order to contract the flyover would be used to buy a plot of land where they are going to build the stadium for the club.
“The money from Villa Park Compensation will be put into the Villa Members Trust Fund account, which will be used to purchase a piece of land for the club for the construction of the stadium because getting out own home is one of the Executive’s priority.” Said Bakaki
“When everything is done in acquiring the land, we shall come here and tell you all the details and this would be before the end of the year.”
In other matters discussed, Jackson Magera was named new head coach, officially replacing Greek tactician Petros Koukouras who was sacked by the club at the end of last season and will be assisted by Ibrahim Kirya.
The genesis of UNRA Compensation money
In July of this year, The High court in Kampala awarded Shs 200 million to Sports Club Villa for damages suffered as a result of the delayed compensation for the takeover of Villa Park-the club’s training ground in Nsambya.
Land division judge John Eudes Keiterima issued the order on the basis that the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) was supposed to pay more than Shs 3 billion for evicting the club from its training ground in 2019 to pave way for the construction of the Kampala flyover.
Court records show that the club entered Villa Park in 1976 with permission from Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) as the registered proprietor.
The club then developed the land as its training ground and has used it for more than 40 years as a tenant by occupancy of the URC.
However, on July 19, 2019, UNRA asked Villa to vacate the land and subsequently deployed security personnel to forcefully evacuate part of the club’s training ground and offices.
But as the UNRA grader started razing the structures, URC presented a court order, stopping any developments in the park.
On the basis of the disruption that also resulted in the destruction of property, the club filed a case indicating that it had suffered inconvenience and embarrassment for which it should be paid damages.
UNRA told the court that the club’s property was not among those that were to be affected, in the process of land acquisition for the Kampala flyover project.
UNRA however, argued that URC, which owned eight acres of the expropriated land, couldn’t be compensated because there were multiple claims over the same. Consequently, UNRA sued URC for blocking the project.
The court allowed the application and directed UNRA to deposit Shs 7.5 billion for compensation ahead of the eviction and commencement of its construction process. UNRA subsequently argued that it couldn’t pay Villa for the land because the money had already been deposited with the court.
However, justice Keiterima ruled that in another case, filed by UNRA against eight respondents, a consent order was made that Villa is paid compensation in accordance with the chief government valuers report which had estimated the value of the Club’s land to be Shs 3.2 billion.
According to Keiterima, the consent order has never been set aside.
Keiterima also awarded interest of 10 percent per annum from July 26, 2019, when the land was expropriated until the monies are paid in full.
UNRA will also pay the costs of the suit to Villa.