LC V Chairperson, Activist Exchange Blows Over the Campaign to Eliminate Grass Thatched Houses

3136 Views Lwengo, Uganda

In short
As a result, some of the residents became suspicious and decided to consult Bruce Tushabe Nzabanita, the Coordinator of Volunteers Uganda, a non government Organization promoting Transparency and human rights in Lwengo.

George Mutabaazi, the Lwengo LC5 Chairperson has exchanged blows with Bruce Tushabe Nzabanita, the coordinator Volunteers Uganda over his ongoing campaign to eliminate grass thatched houses in the district. It all started this morning after more than 60 residents decided to consult Tushabe on whether or not to join a cooperative started by Mutabaazi to help them secure iron sheets.
 
It came after Mutabaazi convened a meeting in Mbirizi-Lwengo town council to register residents to join a Sacco, which he said would give them loans to buy iron sheets. He asked the residents to pay between 50,000 and 100,000 shillings for opening an account before they qualify for the loan. As a result, some of the residents became suspicious and decided to consult Bruce Tushabe Nzabanita, the Coordinator of Volunteers Uganda, a non government Organization promoting Transparency and human rights in Lwengo.

This didn’t go down well with Mutabaazi. He reportedly stormed the offices of Volunteers Uganda and punched Tushabe accusing him of sabotaging his campaign and a fight ensued. Kassim Mugisha says that Tushabe was speaking to residents when Mutabaazi grabbed him by the neck and started boxing.  He says the fight went on for at least three minutes until residents intervened to separate the two men. Tushabe confirmed to URN engaging in a fight with the LC V chairperson but said that he acted in self defense.
 
According to Tushabe, he initially didn’t realize he was fighting with the LC V chairperson because he attacked him from the back. He says he was forced to bite Mutabaazi’s leg to stop Mutabaazi who was holding him by the face to stop hurting his eyes.

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George Mutabaazi, the embattled Lwengo LC V chairperson has vowed to deal with whoever sabotages his campaign. He however, failed to explain why he attacked Tushabe and only described him as a mad man. He accuses politicians of fighting his campaign to get rid of grass thatched houses in the district yet he has already secured iron sheets.

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Isaac Sejjoba, the Bukoto Midwest MP insists that the campaign to eliminate grass thatched houses is not attainable. He says it is not possible for all residents to construct iron roofed houses because the majority of them are foregoing many things to educate their children. Sejjoba wonders why Mutabaazi is rushing the campaign that has never been approved by the district council.

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Last year, Mutabaazi announced plans to eliminate grass thatched houses in the district and gave the affected residents up to the end of 2013 to register and acquire loans to buy iron sheets. The threats by the LC V chairperson to ban grass thatched houses in the district drew angry reactions from residents, MPs, religious leaders, human rights activists and other leaders. 

 

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.