Residents of Nyamitanga and Kakoba divisions in Mbarara District on Monday afternoon blocked the dusty Mbarara-Katete road in protest, accusing municipal council officials of failing to sprinkle it with water or tarmac it.
They blocked the road with stones and logs, saying the dust had forced them to close businesses and battle respiratory infections.
“We have complained about this road for long but nothing is being done by the municipal council. Businesses have closed, people suffer from cough. We want this road tarmacked or let them pour there water, if not we shall keep protesting,” Mr Elias Owoyesigire, a resident, said.
Police fired teargas to disperse residents in Katete ward and arrested three demonstrators. “The standoff started on Sunday but we are containing the situation. If they [residents] have issues with municipal authorities, they should use other means other than closing the road. Those we have arrested will be taken to court to face charges,” Mr Richard Tamale, the district commander of Field Force Unit, said.
The Town Clerk, Mr Johnson Munono, said dust has intensified as a result of the ongoing rehabilitation works. “We planned to upgrade the road because it was in a poor state but since we have started, people should be patient. We don’t have a water bowser. We are trying to borrow one from the regional workshop,” Mr Munono said.