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Fort Portal Authorities Resolve Standoff on Collapsed Building :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Fort Portal Authorities Resolve Standoff on Collapsed Building

Last year, the Banyatereza Sisters, requested Fort Portal Municipal Council to make minor renovations on the building. The request was granted and on May 21, 2019. However, the building collapsed soon after the renovation started, injuring two people.
20 Jul 2019 18:41
Fort Portal authotities have finally allowed the renovation of Virika Phamacy building that had collapsed in May and injured two people.

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Fort Portal authorities have finally permitted the renovation of a building that collapsed and injured two people.  The building located on plot 12B along Lugard Road in Fort Portal is owned by the   Banyatereza Sisters. 

Last year, the Banyatereza Sisters, requested Fort Portal Municipal Council to make minor renovations on the building. The request was granted and on May 21, 2019.  However, the building collapsed soon after the renovation started, injuring two people. 

An assessment conducted by the district authorities later established, that the structure had been built with mud and it lacked a ring beam.   

  Senior Physical Planner Samuel Musana then recommended that the structure be reinforced with a ring beam, concrete columns, with enough cement and a uniform frontage. He also concluded that because Fort Portal was becoming a tourism city effective July 1, 2020, the sisters should construct a storied building that benefits a city, within three years.   

A few days later, Town Clerk Geoffrey Bamanyisa reportedly held a secret meeting with the sisters a few days later and signed a Memorandum of Understanding – MoU allowing the sisters to resume the renovations. In the MoU, he also advised them to instead think of building a storied structure in a period of five years, instead of the three years’ given by the town planner.  

But Fort Portal Municipality Mayor Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga asked the Town Clerk to reverse the decision, by cancelling the MoU and stopping the resumed renovation. According to Muhanga, Bamanyisa's actions showed a lack of respect and gave an impression that the municipal leaders cannot stand on their word.  

To end the standoff, the mayor convened a meeting on July 18. The sisters reportedly told the meeting that they could not build a storied structure at the time because they had had just acquired a 360 million Shillings loan to acquire the building and renovate it. 

The sisters also argued that they were running a not-for-profit organization that sells medicines at subsidized prices and that stopping the construction of their building would be equivalent to denying affordable health care to the people. 

The parties then came to a consensus and okayed the renovation of the building but resolved that the MoU signed with the town clerk be replaced with another one which, among other things, asks them to build a four-storied building in the next three years.

The Mayor told URN that the municipality is also encouraging all the owners of dilapidated structures in town to demolish them and replace them with buildings befitting of a city.

//Cue in; “Ekyakasatu ekimbasabirege nikyo…

Cue out… muno, muno, muno.”//