Drama at Gunda Forest Reserve Land in Entebbe

There was drama at Gunda Forest Reserve land in Kabale B, Katabi Town Council on Tuesday 2nd July as Wakiso district youth leaders were invited to meet with the officials from the state house.

The fears erupted after heavily deployed security officers led by the OC Entebbe Police station denied entry of the area leaders including the Katabi town council chairperson and some other stakeholders to attend the meeting however after a few hours, the situation normalized and they followed the agenda in their presence.

Dr. Hillary Emma Musoke the Private Secretary to the president of Uganda in charge of youth, agriculture, value addition innovation, and export promotion apologized for an embarrassment made to the Katabi Town Council chairperson and some other youth leaders as soon as they had just arrived at the venue saying that it was caused by the linked information of riots which led them to also deploy security to maintain peace during and after the engagement.

He noted that the main aim of the meeting was to engage youth leaders on the upcoming projects of setting up a national technological demonstration center as directed by the president.

“When His excellence met the youth leaders in the state house time back, he promised them to set up an industrial park here for production, therefore this is going to be a science industrial park aiming at employing so many young people and scientists in a way of reforming our country,” Musoke added.

The Katabi Town Council chairperson Ronald Kalema noted that when dealing with public property, there is no way you can ignore stakeholders especially the leaders that represent the community.

“It is unfortunately in a way that someone can come and make the surveying process of the public land minus information us the key stakeholders and the involvement of the community,” Kalema said.

Ronald Kalema the Katabi Town Council chairperson.

He also remarked that Katabi town council, wants the community to benefit directly from the property by reserving space for the public health center, football pitch, youth resource center, and the school which can only take about 5 acres.

The Katabi town council boss therefore appealed to those who are in charge of the project to always engage leaders and the community in meetings about the detailed information on the upcoming projects and also vowed to fight them if their motive is not to benefit the youth and the community.

Sheba Kyobutungyi the head of the project in the president’s office, highlighted that the project is mainly designed to employ the youth as well as develop the community and therefore asked for favourable cooperation for the good of the next generation and the country.

Gunda Forest Reserve Land

“We are just workers of the state house meaning that today we are here but tomorrow we can be to another location or office but you are the owners of the land and beneficiaries, therefore let’s come together for the success of the project,” she added.

Alex Dramaza the area councilor also emphasized the need to gazette some space for the benefit of the community in terms of the public playground, school, health facilities, and leisure park among others.

The president of the Republic of Uganda through the letter he addressed to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja on 23rd January 2023 noted that the National Technological Demonstration Center for Industrialization and Innovation to be housed under a directorate of community-led industrialization under the state house with the mandate to promote industrialization at the village, parish, and sub-county levels.

In addition, he said that the center will recruit scientists in different specializations to facilitate nationwide community industrialization and therefore directed her to meet the scientists and provide them with guidance where necessary.

Background about Gunda Forest Reserve

In 2018, Youth leaders at Wakiso District petitioned the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to allow them to develop the land in question through establishing the Industrial park.

In response, President Museveni wrote to the Ministry of Water and Environment together with the Ministry of Trade to allow the youth to follow the right procedures and have them use the land for development projects.

The forest measuring 57 hectares was gazeted in 1932 and in 1998, it was categorized as a local forest reserve, owned and managed by the Wakiso district council.

Later after the forest was destroyed, Christine Namara Nabimanya took over the forest reservation area and established a farm with permission from Rose Kirabira who was the RDC by then.

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Johnmary Luwaga

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