The decision by President Yoweri Museveni to halt the operationalisation of the proposed Kagadi and Kakumiro districts has irked leaders in Kibaale district. In the 2011 presidential election campaigns, President Yoweri Museveni, pledged to ensure the creation of Kagadi and Kakumiro districts.
He said the new districts that would be curved out of Kibaale, would become operational in 2012 but nothing was done. This triggered uproar from members of parliament and other district leaders mid last year prompting Adolf Mwesige, the minister of local government to table the proposed districts before parliament for approval.
Despite the fact that parliament approved the operationalization of both district last financial, this has not come to pass. While meeting a delegation of Kibaale district leaders at his country home in Rwakitura recently, the president fueled their anger when he told them that their long anticipated districts would not kick off soon.
The president said the country is suffering budget constraints which cannot enable it support the creation of new districts. Museveni noted that he made the pledge under election pressure.
Kakumiro and Kagadi districts join 23 proposed districts whose operationalization was suspended recently due to budget constraints. But area leaders are unhappy over the president’s turn around. Joseph Isingoma, the chairman Kibaale elders’ Forum and former chief administrative officer says the president’s decision has frustrated leaders and the electorates.
Isingoma says improved service delivery in Kibaale will remain a dream.
Emmit Tamurugaho, the Kisiita sub county LC V councilor wonders what he will tell his electorate who are eagerly waiting for the start of their new district. Tumurugaho is bitter that, despite the unending support for President Yoweri Musevini and his NRM party in the district, he has repeatedly given them empty promises.
James Banigwa, the Kakindo Sub county LC 3 chairperson says they will not relent on their quest for a district status for as long as it takes government to grant it. Sources at the Rwakitura meeting reveal that some of the leaders even shed tears following the president’s disclosure that their much needed districts won’t be operational soon.
Kibaale is one of Uganda’s largest and remote districts. The district with 33 sub counties has a total population of more than 500,000 people. The local leaders believe splitting the district into smaller areas will improve service delivery to residents.