What you need to know:
- In the last four months, Masaka District National Resistance Movement chairperson, Mr Peter Ssenkungu, has been lobbying councillors to support the proposal to take the headquarters to Buwunga.
In September last year, former vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi donated five acres of land at Kyambazi Village in Kyanamukaka Sub-county to house Masaka District headquarters.
It was a gesture various local and opinion leaders in the sub-region applauded.
However, the district councillors last week disregarded Mr Ssekandi’s offer through a vote and resolved that the district offices be hosted on another piece of land at Nkuke Village, in Buwunga Sub-county, which was offered by the family of Mr George Mukasa.
During voting, 11 councillors supported the proposal to take the district headquarters to Buwunga , defeating five of their colleagues.
The vote brought an end to the long wait for the council’s decision on where Masaka District headquarters should be located.
Following the elevation of Masaka Town to a city status on July 1,2020, the district headquarters, which were located within the city centre, had to be shifted to a new location outside the city, according to local government policy .
The district offices are currently scattered with some departments including education, health, and finance housed in structures belonging to Buganda Kingdom at Saaza, a Masaka City suburb .
Other offices such as that of the district chairperson, vice chairperson and others are housed at Kitabiro, about 2km away.
The Masaka District speaker, Mr Francis Kimuli, applauded councillors for the resolution. “The Council exercised its powers and decided on where the district headquarters will be. Other leaders had other places in mind, but the decision by people’s representatives supersedes others,” he said.
In the last four months, Masaka District National Resistance Movement chairperson, Mr Peter Ssenkungu, has been lobbying councillors to support the proposal to take the headquarters to Buwunga.
Mr Ssenkungu , who also doubles as Masaka District chairperson finance committee, said some powerful politicians wanted to dictate where to put the headquarters .
“I am happy that the councillors made an independent decision and represented their electorates well,” he added.
The Masaka District chairperson, Mr Andrew Lukyamuzi Batemyetto, said Buwunga is a strategic area being in the centre of the district.
“The decision they [councillors] took will help in building Masaka , we can use the other pieces of land, the well-wishers had donated for other projects,” he said.
Efforts to reach out to Mr Ssekandi were futile since he could not answer out repeated calls to his known phone number. His personal assistant, Mr Oscar Mutebi, promised to get back to us, but had not done so by press time.
However, Mr Ssekandi had earlier said he supported the move to have the district headquarters in Kyanamukaka because the area 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 from the centre than any other place,” he said last year .
Originally, Masaka comprised Rakai, Kalangala, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Sembabule, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu and Lwengo, making it one of the largest districts in Uganda. All these new districts have their own headquarters unlike Masaka and some of the district departments are housed in buildings owned by Buganda Kingdom.
The district has already budgeted Shs1.5 billion to facilitate the construction of its headquarters.