Panic as Masaka Moves to Demolish 100 Houses

1523 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The affected houses, located in Kimanya B, Kimanya A, Kisuuna and Katafaali zones, were cited for demolition after a survey undertaken by the area local government leadership. The survey found that many of the houses were constructed in road reserves and without approved plans, according to Masaka Town Clerk Innocent Ahimbisibwe.

Residents of Kimanya-Kyabakuza in Masaka Municipality are panicking following an order to demolish at least 100 houses allegedly constructed in a road reserve.

The affected houses, located in Kimanya B, Kimanya A, Kisuuna and Katafaali zones, were cited for demolition after a survey undertaken by the area local government leadership. The survey found that many of the houses were constructed in road reserves and without approved plans, according to Masaka Town Clerk Innocent Ahimbisibwe.

The Town Clerk says the access routes will be opened up to improve infrastructure in the municipality adding that none of the affected people is eligible for compensation. 

However, the directive has aroused panic among the affected residents who are now petitioning Masaka Municipal Council to block the demolition.

Achilles Mawanda, an owner of residential and commercial buildings in the area says he secured an approved plan to construct the premises but was equally shocked to have the same structures blacklisted.  Mawanda possesses a plan approved by former Masaka Municipal Physical Planner Sarafino Olet.

He says although the municipality has indicated they will not compensate him, demolition of his property is illegal.
 
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Edward Kayinja, another affected person says that although he secured a plan, the municipaity law enforcement officers told him his entire gate is in the middle of the road and will be demolished.

But the municipality has declined to explain circumstances under which persons with approved plans secured them. At the time of filing this report, the affected persons were enclosed in a meeting with Joe Walusimbi, the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, to chat a way forward.

However, Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Mayor says people took advantage of the laxity in enforcement to construct in road reserves. He says unapproved construction has created slums in an area which was formerly an organized residential settlement.  

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About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.