Kabaka faults govt on delayed Masaka city status

Monday June 10 2019
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Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II attends church service at St Paul Cathedral, Kako in Masaka District June 9, 2019. PHOTO BY ISSA ALIGA

MASAKA. The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Mutebi II has criticized government for postponing the operationalisation of Masaka Municipality as a city until 2023.
According to the Kabaka, Masaka Town, has all it takes to become a city. He wondered why it wasn’t considered among the first five approved new cities.
“We are really wondering why our town, Masaka, which has all the requirements to become a city, was not considered among the first new cities,” he said.

He promised to consult experts in urban planning to establish why Masaka was not included on the first list.

“When I get time, I will look for experts in urban planning to tell me why this was done like this, because for me, I have failed to understand it, ” he added.
Masaka was among the 15 municipalities approved as regional cities but it was not included in the first lot, which is scheduled to start operations in July 2020.
The cities in the first lot are Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal and Mbarara.
The decision has since provoked anger from the residents in the sub-region and through Masaka District boss Jude Mbabaali, they have since dragged government to court for refusing to grant their town a city status.

The Kabaka made the remarks on Sunday during a special service at St Paul Cathedral, Kako in Masaka District.
During the service, the Kabaka also faulted security agencies for failing to crackdown on armed and machete-wielding thugs terrorizing villages in Masaka and other parts of the country.
“We feel concerned when we see such incidents [rampant killings] happen, in some areas like here in Masaka. They [assailants] first issue leaflets and warn their targets, but the suspects are not apprehended,” he said adding “We ask leaders to pay more attention to the security of our people and screen those they give guns .”

But Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Herman Ssentongo insists machete-wielding thugs were wiped out and no longer attack the area.
“What is still challenging us are the armed thugs, but we have also arrested some and they are facing trial in the General Court Martial ,” he said.
Rev. Henry Katumba Tamale, the Bishop West Buganda Diocese who led the service prayed for the Kabaka to lead his subjects with love and foster development in the kingdom.

During his tenure as bishop, Rev Tamale said he has managed to complete a commercial building in Masaka Town and improved academic standards in church -founded schools in the diocese.
“Your Majesty, we have managed to make some progress in the few years I have been here and this is because of enormous support I get from all people in this area regardless of their religious inclinations,” he said.
The construction of the three-storied Church Plaza on Plot 17, Edward Avenue, was started in 2011 by Bishop Tamale’s predecessor late Bishop Godfrey Makumbi with an expectation of fetching income for the diocese.

The Kabaka is on a four -day visit in Masaka where he presided over the 2019 edition of Buganda Masaza Royal Regatta race at Nabugabo Sand Beach on Saturday. Buddu County which comprises of nine districts of Greater Masaka won their maiden royal regatta championship.
Kabaka also launched an HIV Prevention Campaign for fishing communities under the theme “Men for Good Health and Ending Aids by 2013.”
Today (Monday), the Kabaka is expected to visit clan headquarters for Nyonyi Namungona , Nyonyi Ndisa and Kinyomo located in the area.

Masaka which many Mengo royalists refer to as Buganda’s ‘capital city’, was built by the colonialists and it became a town council in 1958 and later elevated to a municipality in 1968. It comprises of three divisions; Katwe –Butego, Nyendo Ssenyange and Kimaanya –Kyabakuza.