West Buganda Diocese has disposed of its Ntusi Ranch in Sembabule district to generate funds for the completion of the stalled church house in Masaka town, the Bishop Rt. Rev. Godfrey Makumbi has confirmed. In 2011, West Buganda Diocese started launched the construction of Church Plaza to raise funds next to Hot Ram Hotel along Edward Avenue in Masaka Municipality.
However, the project stalled after the diocese failed to raise the 2.5 billion shillings needed to finance the construction. As a result of the failure to find an alternative source of funds, West Buganda Diocese has been forced to dispose off Ntusi Diocesan Ranch to generate the required funds. Rt. Rev. Godfrey Makumbi, the Bishop of West Buganda has confirmed giving away the two square miles ranch to raise funds.
He however, declined to reveal who had taken it over saying that it was a sensitive matter. There are reports that the Church has given the land to Sam Kuteesa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Makumbi explains that the disposal of the ranch was approved by the diocesan secretariat after they failed to identify an alternative source of funds. He says that they hoped President Museveni would sponsor them but he had not yet fulfilled his pledge. Makumbi says that the disposal of the ranch has generated 2.5billion shillings needed for the construction.
Kuteesa who is believed to have acquired the church ranch has not yet commented as he neither picked nor returned calls from our reporter. Some Anglicans Christians in the diocese have approved the disposal of the church ranch to raise funds to construct the church plaza. Edward Rwamboya, an Anglican Christian in Masaka has approved the decision to sell off the ranch saying that it was unproductive.
He says that once completed church house will help generate huge sums of money for the diocese. Rwamboya says that he had heard rumors that the ranch was empty after the theft of animals from there. According to the structural plan, Church House will have a banking complex, a modern hotel and parking yard.
In mid 2000, a similar plan by Uganda Muslim Supreme Council to sublease some of its property to generate funds for the construction of a complex backfired after some Muslims accused the leaderhip of Sheikh Ramadhan Mubajje, the Mufti of Uganda of selling off Muslim property. The Mufti was later dragged court, which aqcuitted him.