The Masaka City Town Clerk and the City Physical Planner are on
the spot over the destruction of a major wetland in the town.
A Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF Officer only identified as
Major Mugume is currently dumping heaps of soil in part of Nabajuzi wetland,
along the Masaka-Mbarara bypass, despite protests by local leaders and
The affected wetland, part of which is being degraded serves as
the main water catchment area for Masaka district’s main water source, which
directly drains from the wetland’s streams.
The developer who is now intending to put up a commercial
building, according to Florence Namayanja, the Masaka City Mayor conspired with
some technical officers in the area to irregularly permit him to utilize the
wetland in a manner that is destructive to the ecosystem.
Namayanja indicates that some unscrupulous people took advantage
of the transition period when Masaka was elevated to City status and connived
with some technical persons to irregularly acquire properties in town including
gazetted open spaces.
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gw’ekibuga.”// Juliet Kakande, the Masaka City Woman MP and Mathias Mpuuga,
the Nyendo-Mukungwe Division MP also Leader of the Opposition Monday visited
the contested construction site.
Mpuuga blamed the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA for
allowing the developer to remove the road guardrails to allow him to access the
swamp with dump trucks.
The leaders have tasked the Masaka City Principal Engineer
Augustine Turibalungi to formally overturn all the ongoing activities with
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Major Mugume could not be reached for a comment, but one of his
agents who only identified himself as Patrick claims that they obtained authorization
from the local authorities after procuring the plot from the initial owners.
He also showed URN reporter a letter by the former Masaka Municipality John
Bahengana clearing the disputed works.
Antonio Kalyango, the Executive Director of Biodiversity
Conservation Foundation-BCF, a local environmental conservation civil society
says that tampering with Nabajuzi wetland and its water flow may lead to
adverse effects on the entire ecosystem of Masaka and the neighbouring
He threatens that they may be prompted to mobilize for protests should
the concerned authorities fail to stop the destruction of the environment.
Emmanuel Gakyalo, the Acting Masaka City Clerk when asked about the
controversy, said needed time to crosscheck with available records to find out
what transpired, however, denying allegations of shielding the developer.