By Weswa Ronnie
Over 50 Police posts and twenty sub county headquarters located in the districts of Mbulambuli, Namisindwa, Manafwa and Sironko in Bugisu sub region will soon be homeless.
This follows a resolution by Bugisu Cooperative Union to chase police posts and sub county headquarters operating in structures of Bugisu cooperative primary societies.
This was revealed by Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the chairperson of BCU also MP for Budadiri West Constituency in Sironko district while speaking to hundreds of coffee farmers under BCU at Bududa primary school located at Bududa district yesterday, Monday 3rd October 2022.
According to Nandala, most of BCU primary societies have been occupied by police posts and sub counties without paying any rent.
He added that those societies were donated to police and newly created sub counties by some respective primary society committee leaders to stay there temporarily as they look for their permanent premises but some have stayed there for over twenty years.
John Musila, the Vice chairman for Bugisu Cooperative Union also Member Of Parliament Representing Bubulo East Constituency in Namisindwa district named some of the police posts as follows;
Magale primary society located at Lwakhakha zone in Namisindwa district being occupied by Magale Police Station, Bubolo Primary Society located at Bugitimwa sub county in Sironko valley zone has been occupied by Masaba Police Post, Tandiga primary society located in Butandiga sub county Sironko district in Sironko valley zone has been occupied by Butandiga police post among others.
‘’Some lower government administrative units like Butandiga town council in Sironko district are operating at Butandiga primary society in Sironko valley zone, Mala primary society has been occupied by Mufutu town council among others,’’ Mr. Musila said.
He also said that they demand over Shs5billion from their society buildings saying that if police and the local administrative units don’t pay up, they will be forced to vacate.
However, Rogers Taitika, the Elgon region police spokesperson has asked BCU board members to first hold a meeting with top police leaders before coming up with such decisions.
He added that it was community members who requested for police posts in their areas and donated primary society buildings to accommodate them so it will be bad for BCU to chase them because they will create insecurity in their areas if they withdraw their officers.
Jackson Wakwaika, the LCV chairperson of Namisindwa district, said that the government currently can’t afford to pay rent to BCU for the new administrative Units.
He urged BCU authorities to be calm and give them more time as they wait for the government to construct administrative units for newly created sub counties and town councils saying if the move is effected, they will lack where to operate from.
Isaiah Sasaga Wanzira director of Sironko valley zone also MP representing Budadiri East Constituency in Sironko district says that they want to reclaim primary societies in order to boost the supply of coffee from primary societies to the main union.
Mr. Sasaga said ‘’we are targeting to export over 4 million kilograms of coffee next year and the only way to fulfill this is by having all the 277 primary societies fully operating.”
He also said that on several occasions they have given time for districts and police to evacuate their offices but they have failed which has prompted them to evict them by force and pave way for farmers to do their business.
Peter Weduku, one of the farmers from Tandiga primary society Sironko valley zone said that since their primary society has been occupied by Butandiga police and Butandiga town council head offices, their operations have been affected since they have nowhere to store their coffee.
He added that most farmers have opted to sell their coffee to middle men or competitors as a way of getting quick money.
Mr Weduku welcomed the move, and said that this is going to increase the quantity of coffee supplied to BCU for export.