What you need to know:
- There were also safety concerns as the district Chairman Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, and Chief Administrative Officer, Ms Phionah Sanyu, sneaked out of the council chambers for their dear lives.
Masindi District Council was thrown into chaos on Thursday following a heated discussion over the allocation of land to Bunyoro University for the construction of a study centre.
The controversy stems back to February this year when the Masindi District Production Committee recommended the allocation of 52.7 hectares of land in Kayanja village to the Bunyoro University Task Force. The council went ahead and approved the recommendations without realizing that the designated land was legally owned by Magalies Distillers Uganda Limited, an alcohol distilling company, with a valid land title.
Councilor Johnson Kiiza, representing Bikonzi Sub County, led a group of his colleagues who were concerned about the oversight and the decision-making process.
He says they discovered that the motion to allocate the land to Bunyoro University was mysteriously missing from the order paper, leading to suspicions of foul play.
On Thursday, the tension reached a boiling point during a council meeting when Mr Kiiza and other councillors confronted the district speaker, Mr Moses Kirya, over the contentious land allocation process.
The situation quickly escalated into physical altercations for about one hour, prompting Mr Kirya to call in the police to remove the unruly councillors from the chambers.
There were also safety concerns as the district Chairman Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, and Chief Administrative Officer, Ms Phionah Sanyu, sneaked out of the council chambers for their dear lives.
The situation in Masindi District Council has sparked outrage among the public, who are demanding accountability and transparency in the decision-making process.
Residents are concerned that the council's inability to address crucial issues without descending into chaos may hinder the development and progress of the region.
The Public University of Bunyoro was Okayed by President Museveni in 2021, and later the Minister for Education and Sports Janet K Museveni in June last year appointed Prof Samuel Kyamanywa to head the task force for its establishment.
The task force earmarked the current Bulera Core Primary Teachers College in Hoima District to be the headquarters of the proposed University while other districts from the Bunyoro region like Masindi and Kibaale host other study centres.
However, the task force has said there has been a delay in acquiring land from other districts to host study centres as well as limited funding from the government.