Cabinet Approves 14 More Districts
By Mercy Nalugo, Emmanuel Gyezaho & Sheila Naturinda
Kampala — The government yesterday tabled before Parliament a request seeking the approval of the creation of 14 new districts, even as the battle over Bushenyi's split went to court. Local Government State Minister Pereza Ahabwe told MPs that Cabinet had already endorsed the creation of the new districts, which if approved, will bring the total to 111. The new units should be operational by July.
He told MPs that the government considered it necessary to create the new districts "for the effective administration of those areas", and to "bring services closer to the people." The districts to face the blade are Bushenyi, Masaka, Pallisa, Kumi, Amuru and Pader. Masaka is to be split into four units; Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo and Masaka.
According to the motion, which Speaker Edward Ssekandi referred to the House's Committee on Public Service and Local Government, Bushenyi will have five new districts. Sheema County now becomes Kibingo District while Buhweju County will now be called Nsiika District. A new Rubirizi District will also be formed, consisting of Bunyaruguru County while Ruhinda County becomes Mitooma District. Bushenyi District will retain Igara County, the request showed.
The other new districts are Gombe District, to be carved out of Mpigi District. Ngora County currently under Kumi District becomes a districtwhile Bokora County becomes Napak District carved out of Moroto. The others are Kibuku District formerly Kibuku County, carved out of Pallisa and Nwoya District formerly Nwoya County currently part of Amuru.
The government also seeks to create Kole District, to be carved out of Apac District and Patongo District to be created out of Pader. Mr Ahabwe said the boundaries of Arua District and another district comprising of Maracha and Terego counties be altered by incorporating Terego County in Arua District and Nyadri District consisting of Maracha County be formed.
Residents in court
But as the minister went about making his proposal, a group of Bushenyi residents were in court seeking to block the split of the western Uganda district. In a petition filed before the Constitutional Court on April 15, Mr Wilberforce Muhangi and four others want the split of the fifth most populous district halted until all residents have been fully consulted and court disposes the petition, which comes up for hearing today.
The petitioners disapprove the notion that smaller administrative units ease development, arguing that the new small districts shall neither sustain themselves nor develop as it shall "drain the national treasury. But Mr Ahabwe last evening said court action would not stop the move. "Going to court doesn't mean anything," he said.