A fierce row has emerged between Kayunga Town Council leaders and youth leaders in the area, with the latter accusing the former of grabbing a youth centre project meant to help them improve their standard of living.
Led by their district youth council chairperson, Mr Ivan Kayemba, the youth claim that 10 years ago, the town council leaders stopped them from utilising the Kayunga Youth Centre, a project they claim was donated to them by friends of Kayunga from Witzenhausen Town in Germany.
The Kayunga Town Youth Centre located near the town council offices was built in 1993 using Shs500m donations from friends in Witzenhausen Town, through a twinning relationship they have between the towns’ urban areas.
According to Mr Nickson Ssenkusu, the Kayunga Town council youth chairperson, the centre was being used by youth for sensitisation workshops and as a leisure centre.
“Unfortunately, the town council authorities led by the town clerk, rented out the centre to Makerere University Walter Reed project and kicked us out. We the owners of the building, were not consulted before decision was taken,” Mr Ssenkusu said during an interview with Daily Monitor last Saturday.
“We now have no place where we can meet and discuss issues affecting us” he added.
According to the mayor, Mr Magid Nyanzi, the youth centre was rented out at an annual fee of Shs10m.
But Mr Ssenkusu said they have on several occasions tried to inquire from the town clerk, Ms Margaret Nansubuga, about where the proceeds from the youth centre go, in vain.
“After failing to get back our centre, we asked them to give us only 50 per cent of the proceeds from the project, but they refused,” Mr Ssenkusu said.
According to Mr Kayemba, they petitioned State House about the matter, and that the president had sanctioned investigations.
“The Youth Centre was constructed with the aim of supporting youth with a source of income to facilitate their work,” the petition to State House by the youth dated July 25, July 2017, reads in part
A State House report on the findings is yet to be released, he said. Mr Nyanzi, however, dismissed the claims by the youth leaders explaining that the project was not for them but the town council.
“The town council was given the mandate to manage the project, so it is now among the projects handled by the council leadership,” he said.
He added: “How can they manage the youth centre when they failed to manage the funds distributed to them under Youth Livelihood Programme?” he asked.
The Kayunga Resident District Commissioner, Ms Rose Birungi, advised the leaders and youth tosolve the matter amicably saying there is no need to fighting over the project.
When contacted, the Makerere Water Reed project officials in Kayunga declined to comment on the matter.