Mbarara city reduces building plan approval fees

Aerial view of Mbarara town
An aerial view of part of Mbarara town.

Mbarara, Uganda | URN | Mbarara City authorities have lowered fees levied for the approval of building prototype plans in order to encourage more people to go through the formal procedure before constructing houses. 

A plan of the two-roomed residential unit with a Kitchen or store will be charged 200,000 Shillings, a reduction from 500,000 Shillings while a residential unit with three or four bedrooms will be charged 400,000 down from 600,000 Shillings. The levy for commercial and rental structures remains the same depending on the size of the building. These are charged between 1 million and 1.5 million Shillings.

Mbarara City Town Clerk Theo Tibihika says that constructors will also be exempted 50 per cent of the inspection fees. Tibihika said they opted to revise the Building plan approval fees after realizing that several people were avoiding the process because of the costs which they said were exorbitant. As a result, the municipality had shortfalls in its revenue.

He says the city staff in the field were also encouraging people to go on and construct buildings without plans which affected the municipality’s physical development and settlement plan.

Tibihika said that they want to disseminate detailed approved plans at the village level so that the chairpersons who usually sign on land agreements know the physical development plan of the city. He says this will also ease the monitoring of constructions in their areas.

Bonny Tashobya, the municipal speaker said the reduction of fees levied on the prototype plans was targeting the rural communities. He said the city council is mandated to make and approve prototype plans for people to buy as an avenue to raise local revenue.

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Jimmy Tashobya, an Engineer with Tash Constructions welcomed the reductions noting that the fees levied on getting and approving their building plans were the reason most started constructions without plans. He said that most buildings in the suburbs of the town were constructed without plans and are putting people’s lives at risk.

Mbarara city had a 3.5 billion Shillings shortfall on its  6.4 billion Shillings target last financial year.