AGRICULTURE: Masaka City Acting Resident City Commissioner Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi together with the city security committee has directed the Uganda Coffee Development Authority Officials (UCDA) to halt all its operations in the city until further notice.
The Security directive comes after UCDA destroying thousands of coffee seedlings at Kayirikiti Nyendo along Mbarara highway on Monday 20th March 22, 2023 leaving farmers stranded with no sources of income.
On Monday, David Kabalega the UCDA Masaka Regional Coffee Extension Officer together with police and hired man power in Masaka invaded Kayirikiti-Nyendo Coffee Nursery beds and destroyed nearly 50,000 seedlings using cutters and pestsides, and after arrested one of the nursery bed owners Mr. Joseph Ssewanyana.
Farmers were accused of failing to get the UCDA permits certifying the quality of their seedlings thus making their work illegal.
However, farmers accuse David Kabalega who also owns a coffee Nursery bed in Masaka that he was trying to end their business so that he can also get an opportunity of selling off his seedlings to farmers
Among the destroyed nursery beds was also Ms. Sarah Naggawa’s garden which was certified by UCDA since she started working in the coffee nursery bed business.
Nyendo Nursery bed owners also accuse the UCDA officer Kabalega for having personal unknown differences with them which prompted him to destroy their gardens since he never carried out the same operation in other parts of the region. By press time, Kabalega had not picked his known phone calls to give answers on the allegations.
In a security meeting held at the scene of crime, the Acting RCC Kateregga Musaazi also directed the office of the City Internal Security to investigate the circumstances under which UCDA carried out this terrific activity and also investigate about David Kabalega the accused UCDA officer who destroyed the nursery bed.
Coffee seedlings amounting to over 30million shillings were cut down by UCDA under directives of Mr. David Kabalega.
Masaka City leaders including the Mayor, Division Chairperson and Councilors led by Hon. Alice Nannungi upon visiting the site tasked government to compensate the affected Nursery bed operators.
This website has learnt that Mr. Joseph Ssewanyana’s Nursery bed was among the biggest supplier of coffee seedlings in Masaka sub region.
Coffee Nursery bed business is among the main source of income amongst women in the villages of Kayirikiti, Kitenga, Nakayiba, Ssaza, Kalagala, Kirumba and Kiyimbwe in Masaka City.
The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) is a government agency that was established by an Act of Parliament To increase quality coffee production, productivity, value addition, marketing and consumption but not destruction.