BY AHMED KATEREGGA MUSAAZI
MASAKA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY; A year after operationalization, Masaka City is demanding to acquire Bukakkata landing site on the shores of Lake Victoria, which was an inland port side by side with Luzira, before it was replaced it with Jinja by the Obote I regime.
Masaka is also not a full city until Bukalasa and Katigondo seminaries, Bwanda Convent and Villa Maria historical cathedral and schools are part of it. Nkoni palace in Lwengo District, must also be curved back to Masaka as the former District Council under LC V Chairperson then, Jude Mbabali, had resolved that the entire district into a city. By then, automatically, Masaka city would have had an access to the shores of Lake Victoria including Bukakkata landing site.
In a one day regional urban authorities meeting for Greater Masaka that was held at Hotel Brovad on Wednesday June 8th, opened by Minister of State for Urban Development Mr. Obiga Kania, and addressed by Masaka City Mayor Florence Namayanja, I raised this matter.
I called for the review of the city boundaries so that it gains access to Lake Victoria and acquires Bukalasa Seminary and Katigondo National Seminary, Villa Maria Cathedral and hospital and primary and secondary schools, and Bwanda Convent as well as Nkoni palace.
During break time, leaders from Kingo – Lwengo District, told me that it was not viable, and wanted it reunited wholly to Masaka City. There are also concerns whether the remaining Masaka District with two constituencies and four sub counties is viable or it should be merged with Masaka city.
I said, that we are watching with interest whether Wakiso city, when operationalized in 2025, will be reduced to only two divisions and constituencies. Last week I told Wakiso NRM leaders that in addition to Entebbe city, which was our colonial capital, Mmengo city, which was our colonial capital, be created out of Lubaga Division, which, under the 1995 Constitution as amended in 2005. I suggested Mmengo should comprise of other regional tier municipalities like Jinja, Hoima, Gulu and Lira, are cities, Makindye Ssaabagabo and Nansana municipalities, all, under traditional Saza Kyaddondo.
I am also of a strong view that Kira municipality and Kyaddondo East be made of Namugongo city for religious tourism. I have been supported by Kira Municipality Mayor but I have not heard from MPs, Kingdom of Buganda officials, Roman Catholic Church, Church of Uganda and Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
Masaka city and district can reunite, if each constituency in Masaka District remains a city division.
Hon. Bagaya, a former Nakasongola District Woman MP and now an official of the Local government Ministry, also supported my view for Nakasongola, to become a future political capital as it is more central. She vowed to agitate for Nakasongola to be operationalised in 2025.
Officials from Ministry of lands, Planning and Urban Development could not support or oppose mine and other leaders’ views in the conference but cautioned that new cities should not be large territories as rural districts are required for agriculture. They also said that what Masaka District was suffering from, is what Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal, Hoima, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Gulu, Lira and Arua districts are suffering from after their prime parts turned into cities.
Bannamasaka will gain more in the current government programs including poverty alleviation programs like Emyooga and Parish Model if their regional city of agriculture is more viable, since its hinterland is good in crop and animal husbandries and fisheries, and which should be emphasized is an industrial park for value addition where the President promised a beef factory. A fruits processing plant is under way, and a glass factory is also in the offing, all presidential pledges.
Haji Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi is a veteran journalist and Deputy Resident City Commissioner for Masaka City in charge of Kimanya Kabonera Division.
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