Residents of Kyannamukaka and Kyaesiiga sub-counties are protesting a resolution by Masaka district council which denied them the opportunity of hosting the new district headquarters.
In January, the district council declined the proposal to construct the new headquarters at Kyambazi Village in Kyannamukaka sub-county, on five- acres of land donated by former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
The councilors instead considered the option of shifting the headquarters to Nkuke village in Buwunga sub-county, a location that is accessible and suitable based on the geographical location from other parts of the district, and the proximity to the utility services.
However, the residents backed up by the local leaders are protesting the council resolution demanding that it is rescinded, to serve the interests of the majority population in the district.
Peter Mulema, the Chairperson Kyambazi Village argues the decision of the council frustrates their ambitions of preserving the legacy of Ssekandi who also donated the land as a contribution to the development of the area.
Mulema says that they are not willing to lose out on the opportunity of hosting the new district headquarters in the Kyannamukaaka sub-county, indicating that they will mobilize the community to contribute some materials required for the construction works.
The residents have started clearing the site where they have also placed a signpost, indicating that it is the location of the new headquarters for the Masaka district.
Mudashir Bbaale, the Deputy Speaker for Kyesiiga sub-county also argues that the debate on the matter was poorly handled by the district council. He said that they ignored the key aspects of population size and available room for expansion which would be determinants before a decision could be taken.
He says besides the availability of enough land that can host several other government departments, Kyambazi is strategically located in faster urbanizing areas in the remaining Masaka district and can raise reasonable local revenue compared to other areas.
Richard Paul Migadde, another resident of Mmanzi village in Kyannamukaaka sub-county accused the councilors of debating with biases promoted by a few selfish individuals whom he says want to profiteer from purchasing alternative land for the district headquarters.
The Member of Parliament for Bukoto Central Richard Ssebamala has described the council decision as a mere opinion that can overshadow the interest of the majority of residents who are meant to be served by the district.
Ssebamala has now preferred to seek the intervention of the Minister of Local government and the President to find justifications for their community demands after protracted preparation.
Francis Kimuli, the Masaka District Council Speaker says the protests are being incited by opportunists who intend to fleece the former Vice President.
He says that the decision was exhaustively debated and on various considerations before the councilors chose Nkuke as the best alternative of the two sites that were both offered as donations.