Masaka Municipality Mayor Gardens Given to Private Developer

2561 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Kayemba says the municipal council endorsed the allocation under the public private partnership deal. He says this means that the businessman will construct an arcade but they will share it with the municipality.

Masaka municipality has allocated another public space to a private developer.
The latest giveaway is the Masaka Mayor's gardens located in the heart of Katwe-Butego division Masaka municipality.
The municipality recently spent over 80million shillings to beautify it although there is no sign this campaign ever took place.
It is currently used for campaign rallies, concerts and other activities such as promotions and blood donation drives. It is also used for parking by lorry drivers.
Now, the municipality has allocated it to a private businessman Moses Kaliisa Mutto to construct an arcade.
Godfrey Kayemba,the Masaka Mayor says they have allocated the gardens to Kalisa because he was the highest bidder.  Kalisa reportedly beat Hajjat Sarah Kiyimba of Hotel Brovad to the deal.
Kayemba says the municipal council endorsed the allocation under the public private partnership deal. He says this means that the businessman will construct an arcade but they will share it with the municipality.
According to him, the municipality will own the ground floor as a source of local revenue while the businessman will own the rest of the building.

Kayemba claims they consulted majority of the stakeholders who approved advertisement of this space before allocation.
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The businessman Kalisa Muto declined to speak about his plan for this land.
However, the allocation has sparked off public outrage among other leaders and residents in Masaka municipality.
Denis Lukanga Majwala,the Katwe-Butego Division Chairman which has been getting local revenue from Mayor's gardens is protesting  against the allocation. He says Masaka municipality never consulted them.
He says since the division is in charge of maintaining it, the municipality must have consulted them before allocating it.
Majwala also says the allocation of this green belt threatens revenue collection of the municipality and its quest for city status.
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Pax Kalema, the Nyendo Ssenyange Division NRM chairman says he has started gathering signatures to drag the municipality to court over this sale. He says as residents, the municipality never consulted them to give it away.
Kalema says they want court to declare the allocation illegal saying they prefer the Mayor's gardens in its current state.
The allocation of this facility comes weeks after another green belt  located near Hotel Brovad was allocated to a UPDF soldier constructing an arcade therein.
Sula Matovu, the chairperson of Masaka Lorry Drivers Association who use this Mayor's gardens says they have also been shocked by the allocation.
He says they were never consulted before allocation yet they pay revenue to Katwe-Buteo division.
Matovu says the municipality has ordered their eviction but they will not leave until they are listened to. He says they need the municipality show give them an alternative parking area before being evicted.


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.