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MP Muyanja Mbabaali Reopens Lake Birinzi to Public

In November, Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali, the Member of Parliament for Bukoto South in Lwengo district fenced off Lake Birinzi claiming ownership.
Fishermen at Lake Birinzi.
Residents of Birinzi in Bukakata sub county, Masaka district are now accessing water at Lake Birinzi, a month after they were blocked from accessing it.

In November, Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali, the Member of Parliament for Bukoto South in Lwengo district fenced off Lake Birinzi claiming ownership.

Mbabaali claims Uganda Land Commission allocated to him the land around this lake. He therefore banned fishing activities around this lake and stopped locals from drawing water from it.

Masaka district leaders visited the fenced lake and found plain-clothed security operatives manning it. The district leadership gave Muyanja Mbabaali two weeks to raze down the fence and to allow residents access the lake.

A URN reporter found part of the lake opened and residents were accessing it. Two fishermen were also on the lake fishing using a small canoe.

There were also six children swimming at the shores. 

The fishermen  told URN that they started accessing the lake after soldiers deployed around left. 

One lady, Rose Namulindwa, was busy washing her clothes when URN toured the lake this week. 

Namulindwa says she first went to the lake on December 26 where concert organisers had  invited a local musician Winnie Nakanwagi known by stage name as Winnie Nwagi. She says many people were allowed to enter Birinzi beach.

Namulindwa says when she went back two days later, she did not find any difficulties accessing the lake to wash her clothes.

Masaka district chairperson Jude Mbabaali says they ordered MP Muyanja Mbabaali to open Lake Birinzi for residents to have access. 

He told Uganda Radio Network on phone that it was illegal for the MP to fence off a public facility.

Jude Mbabaali explains that as the district carries out investigations to ascertain how Muyanja Mbabaali got the land around the lake, he currently has no powers to stop residents from accessing it.

Jude Mbabaali notes that they asked Masaka Chief Administrative Officer, the lead investigator to give the district report in January 2017.

MP Muyanja Mbabaali declined to comment on the matter saying said that issue was resolved.

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