By the Central Updates.
Masaka district residents of Kyanamukaaka and Kyesiiga on Tuesday commissioned land for the construction of Masaka district local government headquarters in protest of the district council resolution.
The commissioned land is located at Kyambazi Village, Kyannamukaka sub county. The 5 acres of land were donated by the Vice President emeritus and former Bukoto central member of Parliament H.E. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
Masaka district residents backed up by the Bukoto Central legislator Eng. Hon. Richard Sebamala and other local leaders elected a sign post on the land, in protest of the district council resolution which preferred to have the district headquarters constructed at Nkuke– Buwunga sub county.
Following the creation of Masaka city in July 2020, the Ministry of Local government guided the leadership of Masaka district to work on the process of relocating their administration offices to another location outside the city boundaries. This, according to Peter Ssenkungu, the district workers representative, required that they find a location in the middle of the district that will be easily accessible by people from all corners.
Eleven out of the sixteen councilors preferred to have the district headquarters constructed in Nkuke parish, Buwunga sub-county, a location they say is easily accessible over Kyannamukaaka which is at the edges of the district.
However, Mr. James Kabiito, the directly elected councilors for Kyesiiga sub-county accused the opponents of acting out of malice, hence taking what they describe as an unpopular decision in the eyes of the general population of Masaka district. Kabiito blamed the councilors for being manipulated to accept building the district headquarters in a less developed rural area.
Upon the council resolution, the Bukoto Central Member of Parliament Eng. Sebamala petitioned the minister of Local government to consider Kyanamukaaka sub county to host the district headquarters because it has all the necessary services like the district Main Hospital, Court, Prison, major sources of revenue, tourism sites, largest population and free room for expansion on the donated land.
On Tuesday, the minister of Local government Hon. Rapheal Magyezi sent a team of commissioners led by Mr. Swizin Mugyema to make a verification on the proposed sites and promised to publish their report of findings within two weeks.
Eng. Sebamala cautioned some leaders in the district who are against the voice of the majority people just because they want to profiteer themselves through fraud and theft.
“Some leaders preferred to take the district headquarters to Nkuke where the family of Mr. George Mukasa offered a small space of land because they wanted to buy the surrounding areas on the plot and later sell the same land to the district, we shall not tolerate such fraud.” Hon. Sebamala said.
The Kyanamukaaka sub county chairperson Mr. Cyrus Kalema and Councilor Antonio Muyunga of Kyesiiga said they can’t allow only 15 people to decide for the entire population because Bukoto Central generally has all the necessary infrastructures to host the district administrative headquarters.
Mr. Kizito Kawonawo the Personal Assistant to the donor H.E Emeritus Vice President Kiwanuka Ssekandi told the ministry of Local government commissioners that the owner of the land is ready to provide more space in case of need and he will later provide a land title.
Mr. Peter Mulema, the Chairperson Kyambazi Village said, the decision of the council frustrates their ambitions of preserving the legacy of Ssekandi who also donated the land as a contribution to the development of the area.
He said they are not willing to lose out on the opportunity of hosting the new district headquarters in the Kyannamukaaka sub-county, indicating that they will mobilize the community to contribute some materials required for the construction works.
The district offices are currently scattered with some departments including education, health, and finance housed in structures belonging to Buganda Kingdom at Saaza, a Masaka City suburb .
Other offices such as that of the district chairperson, vice chairperson and others are housed at Kitabiro, about 2km away.