23 February 2014

Uganda: VP Ssekandi Hooks Masaka Villages On to Power Grid

For decades, residents of Kitengeesa and Lwannunda in the central district of Masaka waited to get hooked on the national electricity grid in vain.

Even occasional meetings with government officials bore no tangible results. Over time, without any tangible result, they gave up on the meetings.

So when another was called on February 15, very few people turned up.

"We have heard talks about giving us electricity. We did not only hold meetings with relevant authorities but we also contributed money to that cause but we have never got any positive result," councillor Beatrice Mpanga said.

"It is not that we don't want the project but our people are tired of attending such meetings which they very well know they hold no water."

But the February 15 meeting was different. Area MP and Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi had this time round come with the undersecretary in the ministry of Energy, Ronald Segawa. Segawa had good news. He announced that the Shs 2bn project had been approved, with a contractor due to start extending electricity to various homes, in less than three months.

According to Segawa, Lwannunda and Kitengeesa villages had not been part of the great plan to be connected to the national grid.

"We had to scrap some of the areas which were supposed to get electricity off the list and include you," Segawa said during the meeting.

Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja attended the meeting and said:

"I highly respect Ssekandi for the assistance he has given the people of greater Masaka including those in and outside his constituency."

She added that she would continue working with Ssekandi. Before 2011 elections, former Bukoto East MP Alintuma Nsambu helped install electric poles without cables, running from Masaka municipality to Kitengeesa hoping to win over voters but he was disappointed.

"The project we are bringing will not put up new poles but we shall instead use the ones which already exist," Segawa said. "Whoever knows the person who put up those poles should tell him to come to us for a dialogue.

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