The paralysis that was created by the recent road closures of Entebbe and Masaka roads to create safe passages for the two visiting presidents of South Korea and Turkey needs to be reflected on more deeply than reduce it a blame game that has appeared in newspaper by government technocrats.
The Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo offered apologies on behalf of the government but insisted it was a necessary evil. But Uganda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kintu Nnyago warned that such embarrassing closures of Uganda’s biggest highway to the world are about to get worse.
Nnyago pushed blame towards the former minister of local government, Adolf Mwesige for his failure to plan for Wakiso district – the most populated district in the country.
Reality however points to a different problem – of politicking that has been wedged by the government against the people of Wakiso.
The closures of Entebbe and Masaka roads were mostly painful because the government has deliberately sidelined Wakiso district in terms of infrastructural development. Over the past five years, Kampala district has enjoyed unprecedented support in terms of financial contributions that has been directed towards Kampala Capital City Authority under Jennifer Musisi
Sadly, although Wakiso enjoys an unbreakable bond with Kampala, its roads are pathetic and yet they would have served to safely and conveniently divert the traffic from the busy roads. Wakiso not only surrounds Kampala district, it is home to three million people, many of whom work in Kampala.
Rather than develop Kampala and Wakiso holistically as the same urban area, most feeder roads in Wakiso remain impassable and are filled with dust.
Wakiso’s plight, which has now become Uganda’s problem appears to have its roots in the wrong perceptions by Uganda’s leaders that voters in Wakiso have to be punished for voting against the government during the past two elections.
President Museveni did not hide this fact when he asked voters in Opposition-dominated Wakiso last year who their area MP was. The voters had pleaded with Museveni why they had been denied piped water and a decent road. The voters responded that Medard Sseggona was their MP. The President told the anxious voters that they voted wrongly.
Now however, this politicking is proving too costly not just for Wakiso districts whose businesses are stagnated by the poor infrastructure of the district.
Basing such important decisions merely on political calculations is costing our country dearly. Because of its strategic location, Wakiso are the veins that supply the blood to Kampala. If Kampala is the nerve of Kampala, then Wakiso should be given due consideration.