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Mbale residents petition Kadaga over Nandala , Wamayi conflict

By Paul Watala

Added 1st February 2019 02:29 PM

The residents mainly youth led by Hassan Mangobe camped at the office of the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) and handed over their petition to RDC Baraza Ogajo asking him to forwarded it to speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

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Mbale residents demonstrate at the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) offices. Photo by Paul Watala

The residents mainly youth led by Hassan Mangobe camped at the office of the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) and handed over their petition to RDC Baraza Ogajo asking him to forwarded it to speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

LEADERSHIP

MBALE - Hundreds of angry residents in Mbale Municipality on Wednesday stormed streets and held peaceful demonstration against Budadiri West Member of Parliament, Nathan Nandala Mafabi’s move to block Mbale Municipality from being granted city status.

The residents mainly youth led by Hassan Mangobe camped at the office of the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) and handed over their petition to RDC Baraza Ogajo asking him to forwarded it to speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

In the petition, residents accused Nandala of disrespecting other leaders, using abusive language, attempting to block Mbale Municipality from being granted city status and engineering endless wars.

Mangobe said that Nandala has been on the front line of blocking Mbale Municipality from degazzating the forest to expand town so that they can get city status.

“As concerned residents of Mbale Municipality, we strongly condemn the unbearable behaviour of Nandala Mafabi for fighting against development in Mbale instead of concentrating on national issues of importance and development in his constituency,” petition read.

Ogojo received the petition and pledged to forward it to Kadaga and also appealed to the residents to remain calm as the situation is being addressed.

According the petition, Nandala had gone further to publically insult, attack and abuse the dignity of Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamayi, the Mayor Mutwalibi Zandy and condemning them for agitating for expansion of town to gain city status.

“Therefore, the reason of this petition is to call your office to stop Mafabi from his negative interference in the affairs of Mbale Municipality,” petition read.

Why the two MPs are fighting

The row among the leaders that include Nandala, Wamayi, Mbale district LC5 chairperson Bernard Mujasi, Mbale Mayor Mutwalibi Zandya, and other councilors started in 2014 when some district councilors asked Government to grant Mbale Municipality a city status.

They also agreed that to acquire city status, the forest should be degazzeted as away of expanding the size of the town. However, they were conditioned to acquire another piece of land and replace the forest.

Mbale municipal council authorities claim that they bought land in Bulambuli, where they will plant the new forest in exchange the forest in Mbale town.

However, Mujasi and Nandala did not agree to have the forest degazzeted while Zandya, Wamayi and other councilors were in support of the forest being degazzeted.

Nandala and Mujasi suggested that the forest stays but the council should write to local government and parliament requesting for small sub county administration units to join municipality so that size of town and population can increase.

This did not go well with Zandya and Wamayi who started accusing Nandala of having interest in the forest land that is why he is not supporting the move to have it degazzeted.

Nandala also accused Wamayi of being interested in the forest land saying that that is why he was interested in the parliament debate. He added that Wamayi has been dodging all sensitive debates in Parliament.

The two leaders got so bitter that they resorted to the media. Both have carried out separate press conferences to accuse one another of grabbing land in Mbale Municipality forest located along Mbale-Tororo Road.

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