Kiboga Traders Plan Anti-Load Shedding Demo

2551 Views Kiboga, Uganda

In short
Kiboga and Kyankwanzi traders plan mass demonstration against the acute electricity shortage in their districts.

The Kiboga-Kyankwanzi Traders Association are planning a mass demonstration to express their displeasure about the persistent electricity load shedding in their districts.
Lawrence Ssekimpi, the association’s chairperson, says the members are unhappy that calls for more regular electricity supply have been ignored. He says the demonstration is intended to attract the attention of the Resident District Commissioner, the LC5 chairperson and the State Minister for Micro finance, Ruth Nankabirwa.
Ssekimpi hopes that mass action would force the district and national leaders to find a permanent solution to the power shortages in Kiboga and Kyankwanzi.
When President Yoweri Museveni visited Kiboga earlier this year on his campaign tour he said providing electricity to the district wasn’t the solution to its problems. He advised residents to engage in profitable businesses like commercial agriculture so that they can obtain enough money to purchase solar power systems to light their homes.
The president also urged them to make use of the micro credit facilities available through his government’s Prosperity for All program in order to install alternative power supplies.
Collins Tumusiime who operates a phone charging kiosk on Market Street in Kiboga says this advice is not laughable. He doesn’t have enough money to run his small generators and yet his electricity is off almost all day.
Since last month, the electricity in Kiboga town goes off almost daily. When it is on, it rarely stays for more than one hour.
Tumusiime says that despite this, the power distribution company Umeme continues to send his exorbitant bills.
The Kiboga-Kyankwanzi Traders Association says numerous businesses like saloons, restaurants and millers have been forced to close because of the power cuts. 
Officials at the nearest Umeme office in Mityana blame the power cuts on the failure of the line on the Kiboga-Hoima road.