Residents of Kamuli district and Eastern Uganda in general are still engulfed in shock as the local authorities have blessed the current land occupied by the Kamuli Municipal Stadium to pave way for a market construction.
For starters, the Kamuli Municipal Stadium seats on close to 6.5 hectares of land, surrounded by a perimeter wall fencing, just opposite the busy main Kamuli taxi park.
The decision to give away the Municipal stadium land for a market development was passed by the Kamuli local council, ironically blessed by the speaker of parliament, Hon Rebecca Kadaga with the funding provided by the World Bank.
The Kamuli Municipal Stadium is arguably the main center of recreation for the people in the districts of Luuka, Kamuli and Buyende.
Although some local leaders and sports oriented personalities have openly opposed the development, the majority were in the affirmative for market construction whose works are expected to start in the next financial year.
The development comes at a time when the entire country remains in uncertainty for the available open spaces that are definitely envisaged by the business community.
George Bogere, a football delegate hailing from Kamuli District Delegate tags the project as a hijack that is happening without consultation of the key stakeholders who use this facility.
The proposal to convert the Kamuli Stadium land into a modern market is a mere hijack. The key stake holders (the football family and sports fraternity in general) were never consulted. We have the municipal development forum that was never made of. Personally, I would propose further development of the facility by upgrading its playing surface through re-greening, a perimeter internal fencing, dressing rooms and sanitary facilities.George Bogere, Football Delegate – Kamuli District
Sharif Kabi, a resident of Kamuli district reasons otherwise, on the contrary of the district delegate.
Kabi believes the market project is a good one but the concerned parties should involve the key stake holders, traders on the lockups surrounding the stadium and the respective landlords.
The women Member of Parliament for Kamuli District, Hajjati Rehema Watongola asserts that the residents of Kamuli Municipality passed in the affirmative this development of the market.
First of all, the Government owns the land where Kamuli Municipal Stadium seats. The community blessed the market construction project. Sensitization of the populous will start soon with the capacity building. There is another provision for the youth center where a new playing ground will be put as a perfect alternative. There is also land at Kamuli Township that can be used by the sports people.Hajjati Rehema Watongola, Women Member of Parliament for Kamuli District
Other opinion and local leaders as the District Resident Commissioner (RDC) Moses Ddumba, LC V chairman Thomas Kategere and the mayor David Musasiizi all declined to comment on this matter when contacted.
The development of the Kamuli District market is expected to kick off by September 2020.
The latest development in Kamuli District further raises the eye brows of how open spaces, originally gazetted for sports infrastructure have attracted the “poaching instincts” of the investors for other developments.