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Mukono Residents Protest Land Allocation to American Rapper Akon

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Akon, together with his wife Rozina Negusei, visited Uganda last year and met with high profile government officials including president Yoweri Museveni with whom they discussed the issue of investing in Uganda.
Akon City designed by Bakri & Associates Development Consultants

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Residents at Mpunge sub-county in Mukono district are protesting the planned allocation of one square mile of land to American artist Aliaune Damala Badara, also known as Akon to establish his second futuristic city in Uganda.

Akon, together with his wife Rozina Negusei, visited Uganda last year and met with high profile government officials including president Yoweri Museveni with whom they discussed the issue of investing in Uganda. The visitors were subsequently taken around the country using the presidential helicopter to establish an area where he would build his city.

Akon's ambitious vision is to build a city powered by a cryptocurrency called Akoin. He has previously hinted that part of the desire is to create a real-life version of Wakanda, the futuristic African kingdom portrayed in Marvel’s “Black Panther", a project similar to one he promised to build in his own country Senegal, where he promised luxury condominiums, a seaside resort, office parks and gravity-defying skyscrapers.

The government then promised to offer him free land for the project. Subsequently, the Uganda Land Commission handed over a land title for the reserved land to Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba last week to facilitate the establishment of the proposed City.

According to ULC acting Chairperson, Prof. Pen Mogi Nyeko, the identified land is under the freehold register and is owned by Uganda Land Commission. Prof. Nyeko notes that they started visiting the land in November 2020 and discovered that such a place with beautiful scenery near Lake Victoria should be used to generate income for the country.

But the giveaway is likely to affect more than 1,000 residents from the villages of Bulebi, Sango, Mbazi and Lulagwe. The locals blame the Uganda Land Commission for not consulting them before giving out the land for which they are also claiming ownership.

Margret Nabbanja, a resident at Bulebi village says that although she has not received any official communication to vacate the land, she has learned about plans from the area leaders. She fears that the allocation will affect her wellbeing and her ancestry since the same land hosts her ancestral ground.

//Cue in; “Ndi mutuuze...

Cue out…kigenda maaso.”//

Another resident Salim Kabanda says the government has no authority to give out land that people acquired long before the NRM took over power. He wonders why the Uganda Land Commission cleared land for the investor to use without consulting senior residents and local leaders about its ownership and tenancy. 

//Cue in; “Omuntu azanyira...

Cue out… ejjuuni eganda.”//

Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba says the land title received is registered under the Uganda Land Commission and that the ministry is now tasked to find out other interested parties on the land.

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