UMI Fails To Secure Land For Regional Centre In Mbale

2179 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Residents of Busamaga village in Wanale Division, Mbale Municipality have refused to give their land to Uganda Management Institute –UMI for the establishment of the Eastern Regional Centre.

Residents of Busamaga village in Wanale Division, Mbale Municipality have refused to give their land to Uganda Management Institute –UMI for the establishment of the Eastern Regional Centre.

Last year, UMI asked Mbale Municipal Council to avail it land for the establishment of the Eastern Regional Campus. The council then identified Busamaga Primary School because it has enough land that can house both the primary school and the proposed UMI regional campus.

On Wednesday, a team of the Municipal officials including the councilors and technocrats headed by the Mayor, Zandia Mutwalib, convened a meeting at Busamaga Primary School to convince residents to avail at least two and half hectares of land to UMI.

After the officials sensitized the residents on the benefits of the regional centre in the area, among which included improving their local revenue base, residents unanimously refused to give away the land on grounds that they plan to establish a community secondary school on the same land.

They also argued that UMI is a business entity and that they will not directly benefit anything from the establishment of the regional centre.

Moses Kizamba, the Secretary School Management Committee of Busamaga Primary School, says there is no way they will give this land away yet they have better plans of establishing a secondary school and constructing teachers’ quarters.

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Yahaya Mukasa, a resident of the area accused the Municipal authority of receiving money from UMI to push for the land which they want to be given for free. He says unless they also give out the money they received from UMI, residents will not accept the deal.

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Rehema Nabusita, a member of the investment committee of the area, says the UMI centre is not a priority at a time the y are struggling to find decent accommodation for the teachers. She says the land is not enough for the primary school, teachers’ quarters and UMI.

He asked the Municipality and UMI to stay away from the land.

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Mayor Mutwalib, however, denies that the council received any money for UMI to facilitate the acquisition of the land. He says his office requested for a supplementary budget which approved 3 million shillings to facilitate the council in the acquisition of the land.

He says the Institute has entered into a gentleman’s agreement which is yet to be made formal that once the council allocates it land for the Regional centre, they will be given several benefits including free training of the council staff among others.

The Mayor says he is yet to take back the matter to council, but he is optimistic that through vigorous sensitization of the residents they will embrace the project and give the land.

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Felix Andama, the UMI centre Manager Mbale, says they are waiting for an official position from the Municipal Council before they take any decision. In an earlier interview with URN, Andama said if the residents continue to resist on their land, the centre might be transferred and established in Soroti.

Currently, UMI regional centre is operating from Malukhu primary school, where they have been given a block of four rooms for their lecture halls and offices. The centre attracts students from the greater eastern Region.