Kalangala Fishermen Accuse Government of Neglect Top story


In short
In his response, Mbabazi told the residents that he was shocked by the available mode of transport to most islands other than that connecting to Bugala Island.

Fishermen on several islands in Kalangala district have vowed to vote for independent Presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, citing neglect by the ruling government. The fishermen made the pledge at various rallies addressed by the ex-prime minister in Kalangala district on Thursday. 

At most of the rallies, the fishermen told Mbabazi how the Yoweri Museveni government has failed to provide for them most of the basic services. At Kitobo landing site in Kyamuswa County, a number of fishermen told Mbabazi that they are tired of Museveni but that he will rig the polls and return.  

The residents claimed that they don't have a single functional health center in the entire Kyamuswa County. One voter identified as Maria Nabawanuka claimed that there is no primary school in the entire Bufumira Sub County with the primary seven class.
She said their pleas to government to construct for them two primary school has fallen on deaf ears. Farouk Bukenya, a resident of Kyamuswa told Mbabazi, that in 2008, government constructed a fish handling plant to process ice blocks and preserve fish but it has never taken off.  He says the plant has turned into a den of thieves and gamblers.

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Herman Kakooza, the Kalangala District Democratic Party chairman, told Mbabazi that the area is completely neglected. He claimed that more than 40000 people found on others Islands within Kalangala do not have any means of transport. Kakooza said although government promised to provide a ferry to to Kyamuswa, Bubeke, Nkese, Nkose and other distant Islands nothing has been done.

He also said many fishermen cannot access medical services due to lack of transport. Other residents who claimed to have been palm oil farmers told Mbabazi that they were abandoning the project because it doesn't make business sense.  In his response, Mbabazi told the residents that he was shocked by the available mode of transport other than that connecting to Bugala Island. 

Mbabazi assured the residents that he will provide a ferry for each island to ease transport. He also said he plans to set up a mobile hospital to provide medical services to the fishermen especially in areas without health center.
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On the issue of rigging, Mbabazi told the voters he would protect their votes. He asked them not to leave polling stations until the vote counting is done. Mbabazi said he has capacity to monitor votes at the national tally center to prevent rigging.

Kalangala LC V chairman, Will Lugoloobi blamed the failure to operationalise the fish handling plant on lack of power. On the issue of services, he said they have done their best to provide services given the prevailing circumstances. 


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.