By Paul Watala
A storm is brewing in Mbale over the proposed giveaway of land to Uganda Management Institute (UMI) to construct a campus.
Councillors have objected the giveaway which is being seconded by the Mayor, Mutwalibu Zandya.
“We are not a charity organisation to give away free public land. Uganda management institute is totally business oriented entity that cannot be given free land. We are not against development but at least UMI should pay for the land,” Mbale municipal speaker, Abbey Makwasi said.
Makwasi told the New Vision Uganda Management Institute had applied to Mbale Municipal council to avail them three acres of land to construct a modern and fully equipped Centre to serve the region.
He said that the Council lands committee had identified under utilised land at Busamaga primary school in Wanale division.
“A number of our utilities have been mortgaged and we may lose them for failure to clear debts but some of the leaders are pushing for free give away,” Makwasi said.
He said that they will have to engage a Government valuer to determine the cost of the land so that it can be given away at a price.
“It will be a Government valuer to determine the cost of the land but few selfish councillors on the committee push council to give away public land. Where shall we push the school and staff quarters that are in that land,” Makwasi said.
Makwasi threatened not to chair the Council session that is intending to give away the land at no cost, adding that he will defer the matter to the Social Service Committee for discussion.
Zandya, on the other hand has appealed to the councillors to handle the matter with ‘sober’ minds so that Mbale does not miss the chance of hosting a UMI campus.
“We are most likely to miss the Centre in Mbale and it will be transferred to Soroti in case we do not avail land. We should not be myopic because our people surrounding the Centre will be getting money through selling their commodities and construct hostels to accommodate the students,” Mutwalibu argued.
Mutwalibu denied allegations that he has selfish interests having got a bribe to push for the giveaway of council land to UMI.