Buganda Kingdom has started on a program to complete the construction of Bulange plaza, a structure that has stood in the gardens of Bulange, Mengo for over 35 years.
During a Buganda Lukiiko meeting, John Bosco Walusimbi the Buganda Premier tabled a proposal to have the building completed.
By the end of his speech over 850 bags of cement had been pledged by members of the Buganda Lukiiko, including Gaster Lule, the proprietor of Ntake bakery, and Mohammad Toban the Buganda’s Investment and Development minister. Each pledged 100 bags.
Others who contributed in numbers of 50, 20, 10 bags included business associations, women and youth representatives, in the Lukiiko.
Bulange plaza building was a creation of the former president of Uganda Idi Amin Dada after the central government took over the properties of the kingdom during the 1966 Buganda crisis.
During the Amin era, Mengo was turned into the Republic House for Uganda’s military. Idi Amin then ordered the construction of the new building to serve as the general military headquarters in his expansion plan.
When the Amin regime was toppled in 1979, this building’s construction was suspended indefinitely. Charles Peter Mayiga, the Buganda information minister, told Uganda Radio Network, that the succeeding governments did nothing to complete the building.
According to Mayiga when Buganda was given back some of its assets and properties (Okudizibwa ebyaffe) that had been in the custody of the ruling government in 1992, the former general army headquarters and Republic House, now Bulange Building, was repossessed by Buganda Kingdom.
Mayega revealed that the kingdom estimates it would need 8 billion shilling to complete the structure. On completion, the building would house different offices that serve the kingdom.
Toferi Male Okwezza Kivumbi, the Kyadondo county chief, where the building expressed the hope that it would generate much needed revenue for the kingdom. He said with 200 office spaces in prime location in the city, it should attract many businesses.
Sebuwufu Rolland Michael, the head of the Investment department, at Mengo claimed that the ground plans for Bulange Plaza were being processed within the city authorities and on approval, the project will commence this year.
When Uganda Radio Network toured the structure, part of the ground floor of the uncompleted building at one extreme end was being used as a food joint; while on other days the other extreme end facing the Mengo- Natete road is used to host developmental seminars including the CBS radio programs like muvubuka agunjuse hosted on Sundays.