Kyaseka towers, the building that collapsed yesterday killing four people and injuring five others was earmarked for demolition because it was constructed in a road reserve, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) now claims.
Eng. Andrew Kitaka, the director of engineering at KCCA told journalists this afternoon shortly after inspecting the rubble of Kyaseka building along Makerere Hill road opposite Makerere University main gate that KCCA engineers inspected the building last week and directed the site engineers to resubmit their plan for assessment.
“This building was not yet complete. As you can see, there were still poles going up meaning that it was still going up. However he [Moses Kyaseka] built for a certain period even before we came into existence as KCCA and then the building stopped for some time. And he was resuming but in a clandestine manner not in an open manner. We had summoned them to come to KCCA to resubmit their plans. And actually even recently as recent as last week, our engineers came to this building, they inspected it quickly and we were supposed to start doing the structural integrity assessment of the building. Unfortunately it collapsed before an assessment was done”
According to Kitaka, the defunct Kampala City Council approved the construction of a commercial eight level building in 2008. He said they were considering paying the building owner after doing the structural assessment.
"This Makerere hill road is under construction. It is going to be widened to four lanes and then we realised that his stair case and the access ram were actually going to be eaten by the road. So, we were contemplating paying compensation to the owner after doing a structural integration assessment of the building", Kitaka said.
Kitaka says they have commenced investigations to establish circumstances surrounding the collapse of the building. He also disclosed that KCCA will work with Police to ensure those responsible for the building are brought to book, saying the collapse of Kyaseka building is a criminal matter.
“I express my deepest sympathies to the deceased's families and I want to commensurate with the victims of the incident,” he said. Similar incidents have occurred in Kampala in the past. In 2012 and 2015, two buildings under construction collapsed in Kansanga and Lugogo respectively.
Opposition politician Kizza Besigye was blocked from visiting the site of the collapsed building and Mulago hospital where the injured are admitted. Besigye attempted to visit the site after attending the Forum for Democratic Party (FDC) weekly prayers but was stopped by Police on grounds that he would interfere with the traffic flow.
Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, says they blocked Besigye from visiting both places because he was only cleared to attend the FDC prayers.
Shortly after being blocked, Besigye said he would visit the injured on tomorrow Wednesday. Besigye explained that his visit is meant to comfort and counsel the injured victims, adding that such incidents are now becoming common in the country.