Uganda National Cultural Centre [UNCC] has spoken out on reports that the national theatre is to be demolished to give way for a multi-billion trading complex.
In a statement issued Wednesday, UNCC denied serving tenants with eviction notices, saying the great facility will be renovated and that no tenant will be evicted.
“We’ve all been fighting and waiting to have this historical facility renovated and finally Government of Uganda has allocated money for this project.”
After over 50 years of existence the National theatre building has depreciated, naturally.
The flat roof which is incompatible with the tropical climate has continued to leak despite the regular repairs.
The component of the asbestos above the stage is outlawed and is overdue for replacement.
The proscenium arch stage has depreciated, the lighting and sound system can no longer support creativity in modern art.
The chairs are breaking every other day despite the timely repairs which has created an impression that management is not doing a good job via maintenance of the facility.
The resting rooms are also in need of replacement, the sewage system can no longer accommodate the current huge number of traffic in the area.
“It is on this back ground that we embarked on this project to renovate the National Theatre building and we hope that at the end of the project, we will have a better facility that is inline and supports the state of Art in the performing arena,” reads the statement.
Regarding tenants, UNCC held a consultative meeting with them last week on 7th June 2017 to share with them about this coming project due to the fact that there is no way “we could do this without consulting them”.
“In that meeting, they also shared with us their concerns which will be shared with the contractor once he comes on board. It is only after we share these concerns with the contactor and be advised technically that we will move forward.”
UNCC said whatever will be done will be within in the law as per the tenancy agreements and MOUs signed between tenants and residential artistes.
The renovations will include: an overhaul of the Lighting and Sound system including compound lighting, auditorium seats carpet to be changed, proscenium arch stage to be improved upon, plumbing and drainage system to accommodate the current traffic, toilets to be replaced at the reception area, backstage, tenants, and the outside area.
Others are; external and internal painting of the facility, electrical works both External and Internal including ACs and replacement of firefighting systems, repair and improve the drive way, windows and doors repairs and replacement where necessary and perimeter wall fence repairs and replacement.
“We cannot overlook the fact that in such a major renovation some people might temporarily be affected and we kindly ask you to bear with us. We highly treasure our stakeholders (Artistes and tenants),” the statement said.