Authorities in Masaka City have arrested a city official and a private developer over blocking a public road. Mr Martin Kigozi, the Masaka city planner and a developer who refused to disclose her identity were arrested on orders of the Masaka Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Mr Ronald Katende.
His arrest was effected after ‘shocking’ findings from a supervision by the Masaka city roads committee headed by lawmakers Dr Abed Bwanika, Mathias Mpuuga and the city mayor MS Florence Namayanja.
“The committee was astonished to discover a developer erecting a perimeter fence around one of the city’s recently opened roads, the Nulubaale Road,” the committee said.
The committee’s lead Engineer Augustus Turibarungi said they wanted the planner to “explain the above situation after the city recently spent a lot of money on the roads.”
Ms Florence Namayanja and Ronald Katende with the roads committee team inspecting the erected perimeter fence around Nalubaale Road in Masaka City on June 10, 2022. PHOTO/WILSON KUTAMBA
Sources say when summoned, detained Mr Kigozi informed the committee that Nalubaale Road is not included in the municipal plan, insisting that the developer has a title and a plan she got in 2011.
But Mr Turibarungi said: “The 1984 re-planning reconstructed most road systems and several previously existing roads were abolished, including this one, therefore it’s not my fault that someone is expanding his plot.”
Even the developer’s plan, according to Mr Kigozi, is an old one from 2011, which he received from city officials at the time.
A visibly infuriated city mayor Ms Namayanja accused Mr kigozi of “playing double standards.”
“The same people revoked a plan for 2019 because it was outdated last month and I’m now wondering how a plan from 2011 can be up to date,” she said.
Dr Bwanika, who is also the head of the city roads’ committee requested government to take action against Mr Kigozi and his team.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Mr Mpuuga vowed action against diverters of development. “We will do all things humanly possible to stop anyone from sabotaging Masaka city development for personal benefit and we must begin with this city planner,” he said.
The arrested duo was still at Masaka central police station by press time on June 10.