MBALE – Leaders of Bugisu Sub region have asked President Museveni to develop Mbale into a tourism city that will catapult development in the area.
In a memorandum presented by Energy Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu, Bugisu leaders also asked the incumbent President to help settle construct a border market, tarmac some of the roads in the area and support the construction for the palace of Inzu ya Masaba, their cultural institution.
The other demands include Economic empowerment through agriculture, industry and trade, improved road network and access to affordable safe water and construction of more district Hospitals. Only Bududa has a District hospital. They also demanded the Construction of the Mutoto Cultural and Tourism Centre in Mbale City as well as appointing educated and skilled Bamasaba in high government offices.
In response, the President, who was meeting NRM leaders from Mbale, Manafwa, Bududa and Namisindwa districts, promised to look into the request for a tourism city but also asked the residents to vacate Mt Elgon which has become a scene of landslides that have claimed several lives.
“I totally agree that we should have a serious urbanisation plan where people can be in the lower lands around these factories that are being set up. Then we shall have tourism on the hills. If we let top of the mountain like the forest and the steep slopes and cliffs for tourism, then you will be having settlements in lower lands while earning money from forest and mountain’’ the President said
Mr Museveni also asked the people of Bugisu sub-region to change their methods of agriculture so that they can fully benefit from the factories..
“What is the economy here which can make our people work for the stomach and also for commercial purposes so that when the industries are built, the workers can buy dairy products? We want our people to become investors through agriculture, services, small industries and ICT. We can also have shops, transport and hotels” Mr Museveni said.
The President promised to help construct the king’s palace and also use the money being generated from taxing of foreign investments to construct the roads and extend other services to the people.
“All these you are asking for will be done with our money from investors. On the issue of jobs for Bamasaba, if jobs are available and there are good Bamasaba, I will look at them. If the Bamasaba vote for me more than 90 percent then the encouragement will be better” the President told delegates who braved rain at Mbale Secondary School ground.
Mr Museveni will be addressing NRM leaders and from Sironko and Bulambuli Districts on Wednesday.