MP Muyanja Mbabaali Fences Off Lake Birinzi

3958 Views Bukakata, Uganda

In short
Hajji Muyanja Mbabaali, reportedly fenced off the lake, adjacent to Lake Nabugabo in Bukakata Sub County, and banned fishing activities around it. He said the move was to prohibit unauthorized people from taking over his land.

A row has erupted between Bukoto South MP Hajji Muyanja Mbabaali, Masaka District administration and residents over ownership of Lake Birinzi, a small fresh water body in Masaka district.

Hajji Muyanja Mbabaali, reportedly fenced off the lake, adjacent to Lake Nabugabo in Bukakata Sub County, and banned fishing activities around it.  He said the move was to prohibit unauthorized people from taking over his land.

Muyanja Mbabaali told Uganda Radio Network that he acquired the land in question 16 years ago through Uganda Land Commission and has all the documents transferring ownership of the lake to him. But, he adds, he received information that there were people who wanted to grab part of the lake.

He declined to divulge details on the matter.

Uganda Radio Network visited the place and found it fenced off and heavily guarded by armed soldiers. 

The development has aroused tensions among residents and the district administration which had gazetted part of the lake for cage fish farming activities.  Angry residents stormed the lake with intent to destroy the fence but were stopped by security.

A team of Masaka leaders led by Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LCV Chairman and Masaka Chief Administrative Officer William Kanyesige have also visited the lake to assess the situation but were denied access. Security officers at the scene said that they have instructions from Hajji Mbabaali to bloc off access for all unauthorized persons.

Jude Mbabaali, the Masaka LCV Chairman says they have set up a committee to investigate how ownership of the lake was transferred to an individual. Jude Mbabaali says the district is amazed that an individual can take over a public facility at the expense of hundreds of ordinary residents.

Jude Mbabaali adds that the development has frustrated a district plan of starting a cagé fish farming project on the lake. The plan was part of the activities to boost fish productivity in the area.

Masaka district has asked Muyanja Mbabaali to present the documents backing his ownership as part of the investigations.

Joseph Katende a resident of Birinzi says that they have been stopped from collecting water in the lake ever since the lake was fenced off a week ago.
 

 

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.