Daniel Mugula, the Treasurer Masaka Lorry Drivers Association, says they decided to relocate their vehicles to the streets until the municipality finds them a decent place to operate from. He says they have rejected all the alternative venues offered by the municipality because of safety concerns.
Lorry drivers have decided to relocate to Edward Avenue and Victoria streets after eviction from Mayor's gardens
About 300 lorry drivers have finally vacated Masaka Mayor's garden to pave way for its redevelopment. Early this year, Masaka municipality allocated Mayor's Gardens to Moses Kaliisa Muto, a businessman for the construction of a shopping mall at the tune of Shillings 1.5 billion.
The Mayor's garden is located in the heart of the town between Baroda building and Lions Nursery school. On Tuesday, angry lorry drivers threatened to lynch the Mayor, Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo when he led a team of Kaliisa's employees to the gardens to kick start the construction work.
The drivers faulted the municipality for selling off the land without allocating them alternative land to operate from. They vowed not to leave prompting Kayemba to convene a meeting with the Town Clerk, Paul Omoko, his deputy, Edward Gwavu Kiwanuka and other stakeholders to resolve the matter.
During the meeting, it was resolved that the drivers relocate to Bukoyolo near the National Water and Sewarage treatment plant, a proposal the drivers rejected citing the foul smell from the plant. However, on Wednesday evening, Kaliisa managed to fence off the Mayor's gardens enclosing several vehicles in the gardens.
This morning, our reporter saw several drivers driving away their vehicles. They parked them along Edward venue and Victoria Street in Katwe-Butego division. Daniel Mugula, the Treasurer Masaka Lorry Driver's Association, says they decided to relocate their vehicles to the streets until the municipality finds them a decent place to operate from.
He says they have rejected all the alternative venues offered by the municipality because of safety concerns. He also says they declined to enter the main taxi park for fear of clashing with taxi drivers.
Paul Omoko, the Town Clerk Masaka Municipality, says they have instructed the municipal engineer to grade one acre off Bukoyola land to allow the lorry drivers to operate from there. He says they have also asked people with the crops in the area to harvest them immediately since they didn't get authorisation from council to use it.
Andrew Tusingwire, Kaliisa's lawyer says he is happy the drivers have moved. He says their workers have now started underground work for the construction of their 30billion Shillings shopping mall. Tusingwire hopes that construction will be complete by the end of next year.
Godfrey Kayemba, the Mayor Masaka Municipality, says the municipality will own one of the floors on the shopping mall.