Friday, 29 June 2012

Parliament to consider petition to split Kasese

Publish Date: Jun 27, 2012 By Moses Walubiri and Henry Sekanjako The petition demanding the split of the district was received by the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga The speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has committed a petition by Kasese district leadership demanding the split of the district into three, to the Public Service and Local Government Committee of parliament. The committee chaired by Kalungu woman MP, Florence Kintu, will scrutinize the petition and make sure that its slotted in areas due for consideration for district status by the minist
ry of local government. “I will pass on the request to the relevant committee for government to consider your petition,” Kadaga told a delegation composed of Kasese area MPs and local government leaders at parliament yesterday. Recently, Kasese district passed a resolution demanding the splitting of the district into Ruwenzori, Bwera and Kasese districts, citing a host of challenges curtailing service delivery under its current administrative structure. The leaders contend that Kasese district’s 28 sub counties, 115 parishes, 683 villages, 3 town councils and one Municipal Council cannot be effectively monitored by one administrative unit on account of the region’s mountainous terrain. In their petition to the Speaker, the leaders also cited the district’s big population (747,800), which they said is only second to Arua, according to the latest data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. The petitioners decried the domination of Bukonzo County in the district leadership, which they hope the creation of new districts will ably address. They noted that since independence, the district has had all five ministerial appointees hailing from Bukonzo County, besides all district chairpersons. “In line with the government policy of decentralization aimed at improving service delivery and effective supervision of government programs; and considering the population size, the geographical terrain, population growth rate and having listened to the people of Kasese district who feel that the current administrative and political structures can no longer efficiently deliver services to the people, it is proposed that new districts be created out of Kasese District,” the chairman interim committee for the split of Kasese into three, Mwahulhwa Rouben, noted. The creation of new districts has proved an emotive political issue with government recently slapping a moratorium on the clamor for a proliferation of districts. A host of new districts are grossly understaffed, which has raised questions about their sustainability. During the launch of the second Peace Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda last week, the president of the Uganda Local Government Association, Peter Odok W’oceng, cautioned against creation of new districts without the requisite resources to run them. W’oceng recommended that the creation of new districts be suspended until government finds alternative and durable ways of funding and improving staffing in the local governments. Uganda has 112 districts.