Masaka | RedPepper Digital – When a section of folks thought the ‘simala gogera‘ movement was about to close, guess what! Please take a seat! Be humble!.
Former Vice President (VP) Rt. Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi offered free land in Kyanamukaka Sub-county to house Masaka District headquarters.
The gist to Ssekandi’s cheerful giving is that the land offered measures up to five acres and is situated at Kyambazi Village in Kyantale Parish, Kyanamuka Sub County.
The sources close to this site indicate that the development follows a meeting between Mr Ssekandi and local leaders from the two sub-counties of Kyesiiga and Kyanamukkaka early this month.
The leaders requested the former VP to support a bid to have the district headquarters shifted from Masaka City.
The district headquarters is still in Masaka City centre after local authorities failed to agree on whether to relocate the offices to Bukakkata Sub-county or Kyanamukkaka Sub-county.
Currently, the office of the district chief administrative officer, health, production and education department, are housed in buildings belonging to the Buganda Kingdom at Ssaza Village, a Masaka City suburb, while the office of the district chairperson, finance and vice-chairperson are at Kitabiro –Kizungu, about 2kms away.
Ms Jane Nabasumba Kavuma, a councillor at Kyanamukkaka Sub-county, said hosting the district headquarters in the city is affecting service delivery in the sub-counties of Kyanamukkaka, Kyesiga, Bukakata, and Buwunga, which make up the district.
“Getting land where to erect the district headquarters has been a challenge, but since Mr Ssekandi has given us free land, let us welcome it,” she said on Monday
Mr Robert Tumwesigye Kyesiga, a youth councillor, said securing free land has boosted their campaign to host the district headquarters in Kyanamukkaka.
“Kyanamukkaka is more developed compared to other places such as Bukakkata and Buwunga, and the district headquarter has to be closer to people,” he said.
Last year, Kyanamukkaka and Kyesiga sub-county leaders unanimously passed resolutions to have the district headquarters at Kyanamukkaka though they have been stuck with the challenge of land.
The three-time Bukoto County legislator said he made the donation to help the district get a permanent home.
“This area [Kyanamukakka] is culturally vibrant since it hosts some cultural sites, so this would be the best place to host the district headquarters, I will not get tired of supporting leaders who want Kyanamukaka to host the district headquarters since it’s in the centre of the district and people can easily access services,” he said.
Masaka District chairperson Andrew Lukyamuzi Batemyeto applauded Mr Ssekandi for his donation, adding that they would lobby for funds to construct the headquarters.
Although some leaders want the headquarters to remain in the city, councillors and other government officials have vehemently opposed the idea, saying it’s against the policy of decentralisation, which brings services closer to the people.
According to the guidelines issued by Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi last year on how the newly-created cities would operate, all tangible and intangible assets of districts, former municipal councils, division councils, annexed town councils, and sub-counties falling within the territorial boundaries of the city are supposed to be the property of the city.
These include assets such as vacant land, markets, administrative buildings, stadia, bus parks, recreation centres, community halls, forest reserves, and landing sites. On the other hand, Mr Magyezi said the cities shall take over all liabilities incurred by the district, municipal, and division councils.
Masaka originally comprised Rakai, Kalangala, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Sembabule, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, and Lwengo, making it one of the largest districts. Since it’s split, all the new districts have established their own headquarters.