Move to Plant Tea at Kabale Roundabout Draws Mixed Reactions



The construction and beautification of the roundabout in kabale municipality has attracted mixed reactions following a move by the kabale municipal authorities to plant tea within it.

The roundabout which is currently under construction has in it several symbols reflecting the region including mountain gorillas, a kob and a fountain.

It is mainly sponsored by Kigezi Highland Tea Company which injected over 45 million shillings.

Some residents however feel that the decision to plant tea was not well thought since tea does not reflect the real image of Kabale.

Ivan Twesigomwe a bodaboda cyclist said that the planting of tea in the roundabout does not represent the reality that Kabale and Kigezi region stands for.

“Tea growing is just a new concept in Kabale. Most of our farmers are involved in Irish potato and Sorghum growing atleast if they had put any of those,” he said.

Twesigomwe further said that tea once fully grown may harbor dangerous animals like snakes that may injure people interested in enjoying the beauty of the roundabout.

Joachim Mbale, a mobile money operator said that authorities would have added flowers to the roundabout to complement the existing sculptures.

“At the moment, there are sculptures that reflect our tourism potential. The best way we would spice it up would be to add beautiful flowers not tea,” said Mbale.

Nicodemous Ndyamuhaki, a boda-boda rider said that they had appreciated the beautification exercise not until they saw people planting tea in the roundabout.

“It is funny how our people think because such a beautiful structure would look cuter if municipal authorities had sought ideas from residents before taking that direction,” said Ndyamuhaki.

Leopold Twesigye, the former Kigongi ward councilor said that planting tea would be good to promote the economic activity.

“The government of Uganda is encouraging tea growing and it is therefore our responsibility as Kabale district authorities to embrace this cause for development. If we display this on our roundabout, it would be clear that we are in for tea growing,” said Twesigye.

Sam Arineitwe the chairperson central division says that the decision to plant tea in the roundabout was taken so as to market tea growing which is currently promoted by Kigezi Highland Tea Company, the main sponsor of the roundabout beautification.

“It is a community Social Responsibility move by companies to support development programmes and once such projects are done, they usually prefer having their logos or symbols used in such projects. For the roundabout constructed by a tea company planting tea there would not be a bad idea,” he said.

Arineitwe added that tea is also a beautiful plant that once taken good care of can create beautiful scenery in the municipality.

However, Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha, the Kabale municipality mayor lashed at those opposed to tea planting in the roundabout as enemies of development who just talk without any visible contribution.

“It would be good if those opposing the plantation of tea in the roundabout had their financial contributions in this project. It is useless for one to talk about something they never pledged a single coin in,” he said

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