Locals and Church unite against Mbarara town over bodies dumped in Kenkombe

Amos Tayebwa

Mbarara

Local and religious leaders led by Ven. Rev. Patric Atuhaire, Archdeacon of the Grand Archdeacon of Mbarara, has cursed the leadership of the Mbarara Town Council for illegally burying unclaimed corpses at the Kenkombe garbage dump in Rwemigina Ward, Mbarara City North in Mbarara City.

Earlier this week, a group of people from Mbarara Town Council sneaked into the Kenkombe landfill with a truck full of bodies, a total of 30. These bodies were buried in Kenkombe, a few meters from St. Luke Kaburangire Church of Uganda in Rwemigina neighborhood, where the landfill begins.

Robert Twiine, a councilor representing Rwemigina ward in the northern division of Mbarara town, says residents are already tired of the rubbish; Therefore, they will not allow the City Council to convert the same land into a cemetery.

Twiine, on behalf of the residents, explains that the communities of Rwemigina, Bunusya, Rwentondo and Koranorya have always fought with the Mbarara City Council over the poor management of garbage at the Kenkombe landfill site.

He said that the City Council did not control the service providers on how they are supposed to dispose of the garbage in the authorized garbage area, this oversight has actually put the church at risk where garbage is almost dumped in the facilities of the Church, something that has been condemned by Church leaders and neighbors.

“We have already suffered enough with the garbage in Kenkombe, now they are bringing us bodies again. Furthermore, there is no council resolution. These bodies were recently buried illegally on this land. The Mbarara Municipal Council sold the cemetery land in Rwobuyenje and that is why it is abandoned with unclaimed bodies. As a community and I as a leader, we are ready to fight against whoever tries to bring the dead bodies to Kenkombe Land. We are still fighting so that if the Council does not manage the rubbish in Kenkombe, we insist that they get another piece of land where they can deposit their rubbish. We want the Council to open and improve some roads at the Kenkombe landfill site for the proper disposal of rubbish in that area,” Councilor Twiine said.

LC2 Bunusya District Chairman Francis Kambamu has threatened to report a case against Mayor Kakyebezi and Municipal Clerk Abireebe to the police over the illegal decision taken to place dead bodies in Kenkombe.

Greater Mbarara Archdeacon Atuhaire also accused Mbarara Town Council leaders of using Kenkombe Land as part of the cemetery. Atuhaire said Christians of St. Luke Kabaurangire COU have long denounced the mismanagement of garbage in Kenkombe. Atuhaire reveals that it is a poor decision by council leaders to once again add dead bodies on top of mismanaged rubbish to the Rwentondo community and other surrounding areas.

Mbarara North Town Councilor Ronald Taremwa Bamuhayira told locals during the rally that as a Mbarara Town Councillor, they have never made any resolution to start burying unclaimed bodies at the Kenkombe landfill site. He says the only resolution that was recently taken in the council was that two plots of land were allocated for cemetery and among them is Kanywa in Kakoma Ward, North Division of Mbarara City and one in Nyakayojo at the old Division offices in the south of Mbarara city.

Taremwa says the decision made by the municipal clerk was wrong and asked him to go to the affected people around Kenkombe and explain the matter to them. He says Kenkombe is only published for garbage, not corpses.

Locals have also threatened to take Mbarara City Council to court if this matter is not properly resolved.