Masaka's Only Industrial Area Transforming into Residential Area

3007 Views Masaka, Uganda
The only industrial area in Masaka is steadily disappearing into a residential area. Located in Katwe-Kilumba Village in Katwe - Butego division, 10 acre piece of undeveloped area has until recently been a center of attraction for potential investors. It is home to four coffee factories, five maize mills, an animal feed factory, and two discotheques, milk processing plant, metal works and other light industries. But some people have opted to turn the area into residential to create homes for people. A big chunk of land in the industrial area land has been illegally turned into residential area. George Kivumbi, the Katwe-Kilumba LC1 chairman, wants IGG to investigate the manner in which the industrial area land is being transformed into a residential area. Kivumbi explains that nine illegal residences have been set up on the land, in total contravention of the Municiplaity development plan. Kivumbi also says another two-acre piece of land has been sold and turned into Bethel Primary school. William Kalumba, the chairperson of the small-scale investors in Masaka says it is illegal to turn the industrial area into farms. Kalumba, who is also the proprietor of Uganda Breweries products in Masaka,claims that Century Bottling Company recently approached him for land to establish another Coca Cola branch in Masaka but the municipal authority, said they did not have land. Kalumba says it beats his understanding for the municipal to lose such a big factory and then sell land to private individuals who have started growing crops in the middle of the town. // Cue in: "There should be..." Cue out: ".... more less a village."// But Livingstone Magezi, one of the residents claims he was granted permission by the Masaka municipal council to build a house on the disputed land. Benon Yiga, the Masaka Town Clerk and Kasibante Kibablire, the Masaka mayor declined to comment. But Salapio Olet, the Masaka municipal Physical Planner says he is not aware of any body that has constructed residences on the industrial area land. Olet, who is responsible for physical structures in Masaka, says all people on the industrial area were authorized to set up light industries. He also says he will inspect the area with the municipal officers to verify the claims raised by investors.

 

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.