Mukono Municipality is struggling to popularize the newly drafted physical development plan unveiled last week. The plan seeks to guide planning and bring about orderly settlements in the area.
However, the draft is facing strong criticism from mainly the business community and residents who claim it is intended to bring chaos in the guise of streamlining development.
Nubuwati Kalumba, a resident of Mukono Municipality wonders why the municipality is calling stakeholders after drafting the entire physical plan yet they were never consulted in the initial stages.
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The draft physical plan, which is currently being discussed with various stakeholders is sponsored by the government through the Ministries of Kampala Metropolitan Area and Lands, Housing, and Urban Development. It was developed at Shillings 500million.
Much as it is intended to provide a framework for orderly, sustainable, progressive, and holistic development, the business community is scared of the brutal implementation, especially in the already developed area.
Jonathan Mugerwa, a trader in Mukono Central Division, says that several areas included in the draft plan have settlements with expensive infrastructure that is hard to replace. “It is hard for us to interpret, especially when it is supported by authorities in Kampala, they have failed to streamline development in the city and are now jumping to Mukono. We are worried it may be a plot to start brutalizing traders in Mukono Municipality,” Mugerwa notes.
Mukono Municipal Town Clerk, Godfrey Kisekka warns residents and the business community that such negative criticism is intended to sabotage the proper implementation of a good development plan.
According to Kisekka since the elevation of Mukono town council to municipal status in 2010, it has lacked a physical development plan, which has facilitated the disorderly developments in the area.
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The draft looks at streamlining unplanned urban areas growing at a very high speed. In Mukono Central Division it is mainly targeting wards of Gulu, Anthony-Namumira, Nsuube-Kawuga, and Ntawo ward while in Goma it is looking at Nyenje, Bukerere, Seeta, Nantabulirwa, and Misindye.
The draft also looks at the integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation in urban centers, especially in the areas housing the industrial park such as Namanve. The Chairperson of the National Physical Planning Board, Dr. Amanda Ngabirano warns against politicizing development matters by some residents and politicians, saying that such habits prevent the enhancement of relevant standards.
She appeals to the consultant of GIPEA Africa to exhibit equity while executing their work in Mukono so as to create competitive and innovative towns within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.