Monday, 7 May 2012

What it Takes to Pass Pro-Poor Council Resolutions:

Friday 4th May shall remain a land mark in the Kasese District Council sitting at which 66.6% of the nominations made by the district chairman were women. Lt.Col. Mawa Muhindo (Rtd) stood to present a motion to fill the District Executive Committee positions. The Chairman filled the District Executive Committee position with Hon. Tadeo Muhindo, Hon. Pelucy Kabagenyi and Mrs. Anna Muhindo as member of the District Service Commission. The house was full to capacity during the district council session held at Rukoki, members of the civil society were invited to attend but as usual they kept in the gallery watching how the honorable councilors presented and discussed motions to determine the future of Kasese district. It was joy and ululations when the Chairperson mentioned the name of Hon. Pelucy Kabagenyi, I observed almost all the women in the council stood up in recognition of the ‘unsung heroin’ being nominated as a member of the DEC. What does it take for RWECO to attend the district council session: witness whether the resolutions made were pro-poor and if they will drive the district to implement the citizens manifesto. Does the number of women matter or representation? I will zero on Hon. Pelucy Kabagenyi (PWDs), given her position in society and the long stand she has on speaking for the people with disabilities, gave hope that indeed sections of the citizen’s manifesto were catered for during the council deliberations. I also witnessed two other motions that were moved in the house. One on land and landlessness in Kitsamba sub county, and the threat posed by Kilembe Mines Limited to the people of Kasese. While responding to the landlessness debate in Kasese, the District Resident Commissioner Capt. James Mwesige reminded the honorable councilors to sensitize the community about the value of land, the RDC scoffed at the people who were resettled in Bigando but over 80% had sold off the land. It was thus resolved that a working be constituted to look at land cases in Kasese, the threats posed Kilembe Mines and report to the next council. I was partly concerned with the RDC’s revelation that over 80% citizens who were resettled in Bigando had sold off their land? what does it take for the leaders to be mindful while debating on such matters. Kasese district is predominantly an agricultural hub without proper guidance of the council, land conflicts has a long history of in the district: ‘we have lost lives and property, I beg this house to take immediate action on the absent landlords evicting the citizens in Kitsambwa Sub county’ Hon. Asimwe Mbakania moved. As concerned citizens it’s a pity that the poor or the underprivileged are loosing land. One of the top ten concerns in the Rwenzori region is falling fortunes of Agriculture- but where is the problem. It lies within the institutions that are supposed to mobilize the people and guide them to make proper use of the available resources. The Kasese district Council should rather make a bye-law to stop all those people who were resettled from selling any piece of land in those gazetted areas. My next concern was the participation of women during the council deliberations. For the four motions that I witnessed being moved, all the movers were ‘men’ where were the ‘women’, stumping, seconding the motions or murmuring! Save for one Hon. Naume who stood on the floor of Council to deliberate on several motions . I was perplexed by the positions that women took in the council hall. What exactly happened? The deliberations were in English and what does the law say.. I am not sure, but an honorable councilor may deliberate in a language he/she feels would express him/her self better. That did not happen in Kasese district council session of 4th May, 2012. I believe if the speaker had guided the house on the use of the Queen’s language many more women would have participated in the discussions. Look the Secretary for Finance Hon. Matayo Bwambale laid on table the budget estimates for the F/Y 2012/13 of about UGX 36.6BN, but it took him courage to withstand the Queen Therefore, the call for a national language as demanded by the CM is gaining momentum in the Rwenzori region and the rest of the regions in Uganda. I believe, the Citizen’s manifesto has a message that should be taken by the honorable councilors and the Members of Parliament as Uganda prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence. As citizens lets fully participate in the planning of our resources at all levels right from Local Council one through to LCV to Parliament. Watch this space!!!!!