MASAKA: There is a sharp dispute between Masaka District and the City Council authorities over the sharing of immovable properties. The current dispute arises from attempts by Masaka City Council to relocate their administrative offices to the district headquarters at Kitabiro cell in Nyendo-Mukungwe division.
The misunderstanding played out openly last Friday when Andrew Lukyamuzi Batemyetto, the Masaka LC V chairperson, furiously blocked attempts by Martin Kigozi, the Masaka City Physical Planner, to survey land and remodel the current district headquarters. Kigozi had embarked on the survey and remodelling of the district headquarters to prepare for the city to occupy it.
Kigozi explains that the city council approved his action and issued a minute to that effect, acting on the guidance of the Solicitor General, who earlier advised the mother districts to relocate their headquarters to alternative areas outside the city boundaries as well as hand over all the immovable assets to the new administrative units.
However, the current Masaka district leadership is hesitant to hand over any properties to the city council and threatens to forcefully resist any attempts by the city leadership to do so. Lukyamuzi says that they will not conform to any guidance that seeks to deprive the district of its hard-earned properties unless they are compensated.
He says a similar decision was earlier taken by the district council, which resolved that the properties be handed over to the city administration on contract terms of either purchase or rent. According to Lukyamuzi, the district leadership is struggling to raise the funds required to construct a new headquarters, arguing that it is improper for them to freely surrender their current headquarters to a semiautonomous administrative unit.
Lukyamuzi accuses the city leadership of trying to forcefully takeover the district properties rather than seek consensus. He has threatened to mobilise for the confiscation of all the materials or equipment the city will put on the disputed properties.
Martin Kigozi, the Masaka City Principal Physical Planner, says that he is shocked by the conduct of the district leadership. He has promised to write a report to the City technical committee for further guidance.
In her State of the City address delivered on Wednesday, Florence Namayanja, Masaka City Mayor, also alluded to the communication from the Attorney General issued in November last year, which instructed the mother districts to pass on the immovable assets to the new cities.
“In that regard, we resolved to have Masaka City Headquarters established at Kitabilo, and the procurement of consultancy services for the design and supervision of the city headquarters has been ongoing,” she indicated. Namayanja insists that the city will soon occupy the current district headquarters, urging the leaders to instead lobby the government for funds to construct a new home.