Masaka residents protest against poor state roads
Residents of Nyendo a Masaka town suburb with their leaders have staged a demonstration to protest the poor state of roads in their area. The road in contention is that which connects Nyendo, Masaka Town, and Masaka Regional Referral hospital.
The demonstration was led by the area Division Councilor Ronald Kasekende who demand to know why the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is not concerned about the horrendous state of Nyendo-Masaka road which is the get way road to Masaka town.
The protesters blocked Masaka- Nyendo road with logs and car tires which they later set on fire interrupting traffic on the road for a period of three hours until police and army officers intervened and arrested a group of nine people.
Kasekende claims that ever since the road was opened up in the late 1990’s, it has never been improved yet for the last 2 financial year’s the road has featured in the national budget for its reconstruction.
According to him, the condition of the road gets worse during the rainy season and which has forced them to stage a demonstration to express their dissatisfaction towards the authorities because currently, the condition is unbearable.
“We would have demonstrated sometime back but always leaders led by the Resident District Commissioner, Joe Walusimbi have been telling us to stay calm claiming that the road is budgeted for repairing in this ending financial year but nothing has been made yet the situation of the road worsens day by day” they added.
Tonny Kyambadde, a mechanic at Mayembe garage says many people are being knocked dead in his presence wondering what the authorities think about their lives.
A boda boda cyclist also claims that a number of his colleagues have been knocked on the same road because pedestrians, cars and motorcyclists compete for a small surface of the road.
Recently, taxi drivers were forced to raise taxi fares from Shs 500 to 1000 because of the potholes.
The Masaka Regional Police Spokesperson Lameck Kigozi says that the demonstrators should have asked for permission before staging the demonstration because their concerns are right.
Residents want the UNRA to rehabilitate the road immediately because locals cannot freely access services in Masaka town with the current situation of the roads in their area.
Kigozi says that the decision by the residents to block the road was uncalled for because there several proper ways they would use to show their dissatisfaction instead of blocking the road and disrupt traffic flow in and out of Nyendo township.
In December last year, leaders in Masaka forwarded a petition to the president through the government manifesto implementation unit demanding that the matter of rehabilitation of Nyendo- Masaka road be addressed with urgency.
Masaka Municipality Mayor Godfrey Kayemba recently suggested that some funds under the USMID Project be diverted and put on construction of Nyendo Masaka road because it’s the face of the town yet it is in a poor state.