BUIKWE – The Mayor of Njeru Municipal Council, Yasin Kyazze has petitioned the Ministry of Tourism to intervene in the growing dispute at the Source of the Nile between Njeru and Jinja Municipal.
The two municipalities are struggling for ownership of the Source of the Nile and who should collect taxes from it.
Mr. Kyazze said that he has received a lot of complaints from residents in Njeru who are in the water transportation business saying that they are being arrested and their boats are being seized by the Jinja Enforcement Officers due to failure to pay taxes to them.
“So many people come to my office complaining about authorities in Jinja arresting them due to failure to pay taxes to them, others are being stopped from transporting tourists across the water, while others their boats have been captured,” he said.
“We have therefore petitioned Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Tourism to come and help intervene in this tension.” He revealed
The Mayor also complained about various industries in Njeru that still have their addresses in Jinja.
Mr. Kyazze said: “Even when we have Municipal status now you still find industries like Vita foam, Nile Brewaries which are clearly in Njeru Municipal with their addresses still reading as Jinja.”
Speaking to Mr. Jimmy Lutwama, the Speaker Njeru Municipal town, he said that the masses are misinformed about where the Source of the Nile is found.
“People are misinformed about where the Source of the Nile is found. It is found in Njeru and not in Jinja as people think.”Mr.Lutwama said.
He further justified that the Explorer John Speke stood in Njeru and marked the Source of the Nile from Njeru which makes it a tourist attraction site in Njeru Municipal and not in Jinja.
Mr. Lutwaama then said that Jinja Municipal has been collecting revenue illegally from the source of the Nile.
“Leaders of Jinja Municipal have been collecting taxes from the tourists and yet they sail them across the water to Njeru to see the Source of the Nile and they don’t pay here.” He noted
However, the Jinja Municipal deputy mayor Ms. Midius Asiimwe denied these allegations from the leaders of Njeru Municipal but rather advised them to concentrate on the resources they have.
She said: “As a young Municipal they should be concentrating on the resources they have and constructing 5 star facilities that can attract tourists.”
She said that from way back, the source of the Nile is known to be in Jinja however she denied the allegations of owning industries in Njeru.
“When Njeru got the Municipal status all the industries that were found to be in Njeru were given to Njeru.”Ms. Asiimwe said.
The Chairperson Buikwe district Mr. Mathias Kigongo, called for a good working relationship among the two municipalities by giving equal opportunity to the Njeru residents.
Mr. Kiyingi suggested: “Njeru and Jinja residents should be given equal opportunities to avoid such issues.”