Poor road infrastructure and unstable power supply are key factors frustrating the growth of investment in Masaka municipality, according to local investors. This is contained in a petition from the investors to the Greater Masaka Consortium, an association of local governments in the region.
Led by Dr. Fulgensio Jjuujo, the Chairperson Masaka Investor’s Association, the local businessmen say the poor road network and power outages are frustrating investment in Masaka. Masaka municipality been slow at attracting big investments since the 1979 war, which saw it bombed flat.
It also suffered some of the effects of the National Resistance Army liberation struggle. Despite this some business people have injected huge sums of money in key investments in the municipality.
Some of the notable investors are Sarah Kiyimba, the proprietor Hotel Brovad, Dr. Fulgesio Jjuko, the proprietor Garden Courts Hotel and Tropic Inn Hotel, Joseph Kiyimba of Ambiance Discotheque, Emmanuel Lwasa of Tervan Kicking Discotheque and Lwasa Gardens.
Dr. Fulgensio Jjuujo, the Chairperson Masaka Investor’s Association, says majority of the roads in Masaka town are in a very sorry state, which directly affects their investments. He says the poor roads scare away other would be investors.
The investors cite the road connecting Nyendo township to Masaka municipality, which they say hasn’t had any major rehabilitation for years. Nyendo road is under the management of Uganda National Roads Authority. Paul Muwanga, the proprietor of Nandis Hotel at Bwala Hill, says the municipality has failed to work on the road connecting Masaka town from Kidda.
He says the dust from the road is scary, which prompted him to devise of blocking it from entering his hotel. Emmanuel Lwasa, the proprietor of Lwasa Events which owns Tervan Kicking Discotheque and Lwasa Gardens in Kyabakuza also had to open his own access route to his investment. He is now counting on the Municipality to tarmac the road connecting to his businesses.
Matia Ssamula, the proprietor of Welding Center in Masaka town decries the persistent power outages, saying he has suffered several losses. According to Ssamula, Masaka municipality hasn’t had stable power since 2010. Ssamula says he has an order to weld windows, doors and gate but he isn’t sure whether he will deliver on time because of unreliable power supply.
He is worried that the first school term might start before he delivers on the orders, which isn’t good for his business. Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Mayor admits the poor road network. He however, says they expect to work on key roads by close of the year with funding from World Bank.
Kayemba says much as the municipality would love to open all roads, they don’t have money to work on them. Patra Kyarisiima, the Masaka Umeme Area Manager declined to comment on the unstable power supply.