Uganda court summons AG over museum demolition

NGO's have sought a temporary injunction

Published on 13 March 2011

Author(s): The Razor Newspaper/Rehemah Nansubuga

Type:  News

NGO's contend that the demolition scheme has not been accompanied by an environment impact assessment as required by the National Environment Management Act

The High Court has summoned the Attorney General to file a defence in which four non-governmental organisations have sought a temporary injunction stopping the government from demolishing the Uganda Museum until the suit is heard.

The organisations, which include Historic Resources Conservation Initiatives and JENGA Afrika want the court to declare that the proposed demolition of the museum to give way for the erection of the 60-storey East Africa Trade Centre is unlawful.

They argue that it will lead to destruction of the Ugandan people’s cultural heritage, which is guaranteed protection by the country’s Constitution. They are saying that the government opened bids for people or organisations that want to demolish the museum on March 9 – before the court had heard and concluded the case filed in opposition to the demolition.

They contend that the demolition scheme has not been accompanied by an environment impact assessment as required by the National Environment Management Act; and that it is contrary to the provision of international treaties to which Uganda is a party, such as the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Jeff Wadulo, executive Director of JENGA Afrika, in his affidavit argues that the proposed building can be housed anywhere else without having to lose a building of historical and architectural value that is a point of reference for heritage education and ethnographic research. The court has set March 21 as the date to hear the application, which will be heard by Justice Eldad Mwangusya.

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