Residents Ask Gov't to Take over Abandoned Industrial Area

2506 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Masaka is one of the 22 area regions selected by Uganda Investment Authority for the establishment of Industrial parks.

Residents of Masaka municipality have asked Uganda Investment Authority to revive the industrial area there saying it has turned into a den of thugs. Masaka Industrial area is located in Kirumba zone Katwe-Butego division Masaka Municipality. It seats on about 7 acres of land and has more than 50 warehouses. However, the Industrial area has not been in operation since 1979 when it was bombed by Tanzanians forces during the liberation war against the late Iddi Amin, the former head of state.

The industrial area was home to Agricultural processing plants under the Coffee cooperative union, hides and skin and carpentry workshops amongst others. When our reporter visited the industrial this week, he found some of the warehouses turned into residential apartments and garages. Masaka is one of the 22 area regions selected by Uganda Investment Authority for the establishment of Industrial parks.  In 2009, Uganda Investment Authority inspected Kingo, Bukakata, Lukaya and Sango Bay to see their viability and possibility of buying land to set up an industrial park.

Joseph Kalungi, the Masaka LC5 Chairman says that Uganda Investment Authority is hunting for 10 hectares of land to set up the park. He however, explains that the district has failed to get land because of the high charges by the landowners. However, residents of Kirumba have asked Uganda Investment Authority to look no further but instead revive the abandoned Industrial area. Peterson Muteesa, a resident of Kirumba where the Industrial area is located, says Uganda Investment Authority should take over the Masaka Industrial area because it has been left to waste.

He believes reviving the industrial area will create jobs for dozens of unemployed graduates in and around Masaka.

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Musa Kalumba, another resident wants government to take over the industrial area saying it has become a source of insecurity to residents. He says thugs have turned the abandoned warehouses into their hiding place to commit crimes. He says the thugs target revelers from Ambience Discotheque and waylay them before making off with their belongings. 

Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Mayor says although the Municipality still regards it as an industrial zone, some residents are turning it into a residential area. He warns all those who have started to convert the ware houses into homes to stop because they will be evicted without compensation. Kayemba has blamed government for leading to the collapse of these industries because of its policy of privatization.

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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.