Refugee land to be used for industrial parks – Museveni

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja (3rd left) inspects part of Nakivale Refugee Settlement land in September 2021.PHOTO/FELIX AINEBYOONA.

What you need to know:

  • President Museveni said government agreed to set up 22 industrial parks across the country, but Ankole and Tooro were struggling to get land.

President Museveni has given the green light to leaders in Ankole and Tooro sub-regions to take part of Nakivale and Kyaka refugee settlement camps’ land to set up industrial parks.

The President made the remarks during a community mobilisation address in Runyakitara which was broadcast on local radio stations in western region on Monday.

He said the government agreed to set up 22 industrial parks across the country, but Ankole and Tooro were struggling to get land.

“While we were in Cabinet and discussing how to build 22 industrial parks across the country, Ankole failed to get land, but rather they have two acres in Nyamityobora, Mbarara. I was wondering how Banyankore can fail to get land for an industrial park,”Mr Museveni said.

The Head of State said Ugandans have failed develop because they still rely on imported goods, which should change with the evolution of industrial parks.

“During the colonial period and the independence time, before National Resistance Movement (NRM) came into power, people were misled. These places you call towns Mbarara, Masaka and many others were towns of only shops selling threads, syringes, paraffin and one would ask where these people get what they sell.  If there were towns of shops, why don’t we have industrial towns?” Mr Museveni asked.

“How will a country develop if it depends on importation? That is where NRM came in and said we need to have industrial towns that manufacture, assemble and beautify, that is what we call industrial parks,” he added.

Mr Museveni allowed Isingiro leaders to use two square miles of the 71 square miles of Nakivale Refugee Settlement Camp to put up an industrial park to help steer development in Ankole Sub-region.

“I had told ministers in Cabinet that if Ankole does not have land, they should cut part of the refugees land…those who had occupied the land should get out and go. Tell the squatters on the government land to leave it in good faith. We do not want to ask them for anything,” he said.

Mr Museveni said Namanve Industrial Park in Kampala will have 500 factories that deal in different skills such as manufacturing vehicles, electricity machines, manufacturing iron bars, and medicine.