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Rakai District Chairman Roughed Up by Protestors over Poor Roads

Many of the roads in the area have become impassable following floods that devastated the area in recent months. They include, among others, the Lumbugu-Buyamba-Lwamaggwa road, which connects to Lyantonde district which was ruined by the floods from Lake Kijjanebarola.
Residents of Byolo village push a truck that got stuck in the flooded and potholed section along Lumbugu-Buyamba road

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Angry residents of Bulongo, Kayayumbe, Kirundamarigga villages in Lwanda sub-county  in Ddwaniro sub-county, Rakai District have staged a protest over the poor state of major roads in the area.

Many of the roads in the area have become impassable following floods that devastated the area in recent months. They include, among others, the Lumbugu-Buyamba-Lwamaggwa road, which connects to Lyantonde district which was ruined by the floods from Lake Kijjanebarola.

The protestors are blaming Robert Benon Mugabi, the Rakai District Chairperson and other leaders for failing to repair the devastated sections especially at Kirundamarigga and Byoolo as well as several impassable feeder roads in Bulongo, Kayayumbe and Nsozibbiri.

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On Sunday, Mugabi who was heading to his home in Lwamaggwa, could not pass the Kirundamarigga spot on the main road, one of the devastated sections on the road, and decided to branch off and take the Bulongo route in order to connect to Buyamba trading centre and then proceed to Lwamagwa. This is the only shortcut the motorists are using currently to reach Lumbugu and Buyamba. 

But as soon as his car was spotted, residents blocked his access with logs and asked him to use the main road which he reportedly failed to repair. His pleas with the protestors were ignored as they insisted that he drives back.  

Joseph Kaggwa, one of the residents asked Mugabi to contribute at least 5,000 to boost the morale of residents who are fixing the potholes and impassable areas, but Mugabi declined and instead tried to forcibly remove the barricades before he was roughed up by a group of angry youths.

His bodyguard could not save the situation as crowds kept on swelling and became more disruptive. A few minutes later, Mugabi paid 50,000 to appreciate their effort.     

Buyamba County MP Amos Mandela explains that the persistent downpour interfered with plans to gravel the Lumbugu-Buyamba-Lwamaggwa road.  He adds that the road was last worked on in 2012 and there has not been major repairs or upgrade since.  He noted that the construction works will when the floods in certain areas reduce. 

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But Mandela is optimistic that the problem will soon be resolved after the authorities procure a contractor under a new framework contract.

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Jafari Ismael Mubiru, the Ddwaniro sub-county Councilor, said that the poor state of roads has affected service delivery and greatly affected people’s livelihood, especially during the lockdown. At Kaluwunge, the culverts were washed away by the floods which cut off the access to Kaleere Health Centre II and other communities.  

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