By Joyce Namutebi and Cyprian Musoke
With Uganda’s MV. Kalangala, the only public vessel on Lake Victoria, still in Mwanza, Tanzania where it was taken for service in January, the islanders have, through one of their representatives in parliament, demanded that it be returned.
The plea was made by Bujumba MP in Kalangala, Fred Badda in Parliament on Thursday, saying it was a matter of national importance.
He said the ship was taken for annual service to Mwanza in January 2014 and that works and transport ministry said the maximum time it will spend there was 60 days.
“This is May, far beyond the estimated time,” Badda said. He expressed concern that in June there are storms and winds on the lake.
The ship was built by a Danish company. It was completed in 2004. Currently locals are using private vessels for transport,” Badda said.
He appealed to Parliament to prevail upon the minister, Abraham Byandaala, who was not present in the House at the time, to return the ship so as to protect the lives of the people.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga then directed the Leader of government Business in Parliament to look for the minister so that he could brief Parliament about the whereabouts of the ship before MPs go for recess, but the minister did not appear.
Efforts by The New vision to get comment from the two works ministers were futile.
Meanwhile, kadaga also directed the Minister of Local government to bring a report to Parliament on Mbale Market and Kawempe market.