A cross-section of people from Ankole sub region have rejected the new design that was put at the main roundabout in Mbarara town.
Social Media users have come up with several hashtags especially on twitter to communicate their displeasure #RestoreRusiina, #BringBackOurCow
Abubaker Technical Services, the contractor working on the roads and beautifications in the town, on Monday erected nine metallic poles at the roundabout, obscuring the traditional bull mould.
The bull or Ankole long horn cow sculpture symbolises the cultural heritage of people in Western Uganda. Two of the grey poles have shape of horns of a cow while the rest have star designs on top. The poles are powered to give bright light at night. They surround the Airtel clock tower.
People who detested the design on Tuesday took to social media to demand for removal of the poles and restore the bull symbol commonly known as Rusiina for its chocolate colour.
A WhatsApp group named ‘Restore Rusiina Campaign’ was created at 10.09am and the members mainly expressed disappointment with the new design and mounted pressure on Mbarara Municipal Council leaders to ensure the bull’s prominence at the roundabout.
During the council sitting later in the day, the councilors too unanimously rejected the new design.
“We cannot allow our symbol to be overshadowed by something we don’t know its meaning. This is something that identifies us like any other city in the world. We want our cow back to its prominence,” Mr David Nahurira, the Chairperson Works and Development Committee told the council.
“This is the concern of the people of Mbarara and beyond. We have been having Ankole cow there, we do not want that cow that looks like Indian. We are well known for our culture which must be respected. We have agreed as council that what they are erecting at the roundabout be stopped with immediate effect,” Mr Bonny Tashobya, the municipal council speaker, said.
The municipal mayor Mr Robert Kayebezi said if people are uncomfortable with the new design, it can be removed. He noted that the sculpture of a cow was still going to remain.
“I want to assure the public that we are bringing a beautiful cow. The old one was in bad shape and not adding any value. People should have waited to see what the contractor was trying to do,” Mr Kakyebezi said.