By Joshua Walakira
Led by their Deputy Mayor Vincent Kawere, the leaders of Makindye Ssaabagabo have expressed interest in changing the name of their new Municipality. Along with other leaders like Masajja Division Chairman JB Kiyaga, Kawere recently met Local government minister Tom Butime and gave reasons why they want this change of name. The meeting took place at Municipality headquarters where Butime was hosted for a briefing before starting his tour of the entire Municipality to acquaint himself generally with the quality of life masses live there and more specifically the state of roads in the area. After listening to the leaders, Butime guided on the procedures to be taken including officially writing to him to kick start the process. He said change of name was allowed and their wish can be granted once all the necessary procedures have been followed. One of the reasons they gave was that their Municipality is often confused for Ali Mulyanyama Nganda’s Makindye Division in Kampala which isn’t good for their identity. They told Butime that even courier service providers quite often erroneously deliver letters meant for Makindye Ssaabagabo (in Wakiso district) to Makindye Division (in Kampala) and by the time the anomaly is corrected, a lot of time has been lost and even contents of such letters can’t be acted upon because they have been overtaken by events with the passage of time. Some suggested naming it Ndejje Municipality to totally give it a new identity. Kawere explained that with an headquarter sitting on 1.5 acres of prime land (bought using a CERUDEB loan) and a population of more than 300,000 there is no doubt Ssaabagabo can grow into a model Municipality for other local governments to bench mark upon once the identity confusion is resolved. “We are also politically stable with very limited bickering among the elected leaders compared to what happens elsewhere,” Kawere explained as Butime nodded in approval. Famous for the dusty Busabala road, Makindye Ssaabagabo also comprises of 390km road network of which only 10kms is tarmacked. The rest is nearly impassable murram. The Municipality skipped Town Board and Town Council as it was elevated from Sub County to Municipality status in 2015 just in time for the 2016 elections.
Saying the proposed change of name was permissible and okay, Butime advised the leaders to formally have the matter discussed and minuted in municipal council meetings and thereafter write to the ministry for the process to begin. He said suggestions to rename it Ndejje Municipality were appropriately in order since the headquarters is located in Ndejje Division (the other two being Masajja and Bunamwaya divisions). “The minute should indicate reasons and justification for changing the name. Thereafter its gazzetted and we inform the Ministry of Finance and other MDAs accordingly,” Butime advised. He sympathized with Ssaabagabo leaders who told him of loss of integrity resulting from their official letters first being delivered to Makindye Division in Kampala where they are opened and read first before realizing Ssaabagabo was the intended recipient.
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