Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fort Portal Tourism City authorities have allocated the green belt along Mugurusi road to Every Body’s Kitchen – EBK, a fast food company. There has been speculation from various people over the past week that the city authorities had sold the green belt to an unknown investor.
It came after EBK enclosed the greenbelt with tarpaulins and restricted access to pave way for the construction of temporary structures. However, the Fort Portal City Interim Mayor, Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga, says a group of youths requested them last month to establish a temporary takeaway restaurant in the green belt as a source of income.
He says the youths, who are from Fort Portal, also said they would beautify the green belt with better seats, install streetlights along Mugurusi road and keep the place as clean as possible. The mayor says the youths have since paid Shillings 1.5 million for the place and ground rent of Shillings 500,000 into the city council accounts.
Muhanga adds that the place has been given to the youths on a contractual basis that will be renewed after every year. Key among the contract terms is that the green belt must remain open to the public whether the people are customers of EBK or not.
Isaac Kasaija, one of the three youths, explains that they have been involved in designing sculptures but the business wasn’t fetching them enough income. He says that as a way of bettering their lives, they thought of engaging in the fast food business.
Mugurusi road green belt is one of the two green belts in Fort Portal Tourism City. The second one is along Balya road, which Muhanga says will be dedicated to sculptures of former Tooro Kings and other past Fort Portal leaders.
They were established about 10 years ago with the purpose of beautifying the area and giving the city dwellers a place where they can rest or to pass time. They have a few seats but they are rarely maintained. In most cases, they have over grown bushes and some of the metallic chairs have since broken down.