By Joshua Walakira
Entebbe residents have reached out to government demanding construction of more alternative roads they can use while going about business in their town because the roads they currently have are often made unusable because of the President’s frequent movements to and from Entebbe. “Because of that we are requesting that you use your clout as senior sector minister and help us lobby for additional government funding to construct our own new roads which are exclusively ours and unavailable to the President. Kigungu road is used by many people but each time the President is to use it, it’s totally closed to the public who get very much inconvenienced. The other road [Mugula road] that would have been the alternative route is permanently closed as part of the airport expansion. The only alternative is to get for us the money and have a new road in place,” Entebbe Mayor Depaul Kayanja pleaded with his line local government minister Col Tom Butiime during a Thursday meeting at Entebbe Municipal headquarters. Butiime was here on a fact-finding visit to acquaint himself with the social service delivery problems and challenges affecting Entebbe Municipality local government unit. Accompanied by a team of senior ministry officials, Butime had this meeting before driving around the Municipality to meet and interact with area residents. One of the places he visited was the Entebbe Kitoro community where he toured and inspected construction works for both the Kitoro Taxi Park and Kitoro market which is being reconstructed by his ministry under the MATIP project. As an intervention MATIP seeks to rebuild, modernize and expand old market infrastructure in Uganda’s major Municipalities. Whereas the old Kitoro market had 300 stalls, the newly expanded market will accommodate 1500 stalls. According to Tom Gonza, one of the project officials, the market will be completed and ready for occupation by the vendors latest by October 2019. The entire project will GoU Shs13bn. During the inspection tour, Butime who seemed impressed with the progress of the works implored Mayor Kayanja and Town Clerk Charles Magumba to maintain proper record keeping and ensure that all the former vendors are resettled back once the market is completed as a matter of priority. He was also taken to different road infrastructure in the Municipality where Kayanja & Co showed him the state in which their roads are. They also reported to him UNRA roads (for example Nsamizi road) that remain in deplorable state and urged him to use his clout to ensure that UNRA begins to be more responsive to the problem of broken infrastructure in the area. Kayanja explained that some of the roads break down easily because of poor drainage systems in the area. Some of the roads he inspected included Buwaaya, Nsamizi Road, Kiwaafu Close, Church Road in Bugonga and Ssese road. Butiime was also taken to Nakiwogo landing site where Kayanja requested him to lobby for the construction of the Jinja-like Bridge linking the Nakiwogo landing site to communities in Buwaaya in Kasanje town council. After listening to all that Kayanja had to say, Butiime turned the heat on the Entebbe Municipality bosses and blamed them of not being vigilant enough to collect enough from the rich found in their area of jurisdiction. He gave the example of the Entebbe neighborhood called Nakiyoga-Banga which he said was full of rich people yet the Municipality wasn’t taking advantage of them enough to boost local revenue collection. On the problem of inadequate capacity towards proper road maintenance, Butiime said the broader solution lies in availing a road unit that can be fully available to the respective municipalities rather than having to depend on the inadequate road equipment that is so far available at the district headquarter. At the end of the day, the inspection tour seemed to have been very eventful for Butiime as seen in our accompanying pictorial.
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