By Patson Baraire
KANUNGU Misunderstanding, disagreements and mistrust are brewing up in Kanungu District ahead of President Yoweri Museveni visit on Friday after politicians failed to agree on the exact venue to host him.
President Yoweri Museveni is expected in Kanungu District Dec 21st 2018 , to provide over the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Rukungiri – Kanungu road and also commission several in the district.
Probable projects lined up to be commissioned by President Museveni include Kanungu Youth Development Association (KAYODEA), a Soap and Detergent Manufacturing Factory in Kihembe parish and Hydropower sub Station both in Kanyantorogo sub county, laying a foundation stone at the construction of Third Production line at Kayonza Growers Tea Factory in Butogota Town Council among many others besides meeting some individuals.
Where as State House and Uganda National Roads Authority official earmarked Kihihi High School playground as the venue where the general public can gather for a main rally to be addressed by President Museveni , the local politicians here have disagreed on it.
It’s reported that a team led by Kanungu District NRM Chairman Godfrey Karabenda is suggesting that the venue should be at the District Headquarters in Kanungu Town Council which is found in Kinkizi East but the Chairperson Canon Josephine Kasya wants the organisers to stick to earlier planned venue of Kihihi High school.
The State House and UNRA officials yesterday Tuesday had an all day meeting with the district leaders and also visited several sites to be commissioned by President Museveni and it emerged that since most were in Kinkizi West , the venue for public rally should remain in at Kihihi High school playground.
But Karabenda who is also the Mayor Kanungu Town Council could not hear of this and said that since the road belongs to Kanungu District , the ceremony must take place at the district headquarters play grounds which is found in Kinkizi East .
It should be remembered that while campaigning in 2016, President Museveni promised that the ground breaking ceremony for construction of Rukungiri – Kanungu road would take place at Kihihi High School Playground.
This development has however sharply divided the district leaders in Kanungu which has 2 constituencies and Karabenda is being seen fronting Kinkizi East interests which is represented by Minister of State for Housing Chris Baryomunsi while Chairperson Kasya is fronting Kinkizi West which is represented by James Kaberuka in Parliament.
By the time of writing this story, it was not yet clear which venue the officials from State House and UNRA and the district leaders agreed on the Venue.
Disagreements in Kanungu District are not new because they started at the time of creating the district in 2001 when the location of the district headquarters was contested by a cross section of leaders.
Whereas Kanungu site in Kinkizi East where the district is located now was seen as neutral and centrally located , it was not commercially developed like Kihihi site in Kinkizi West, which was more developed and was commercially viable but was not centrally located but Kanungu site carried the day and subsequently the district is now in Kanungu.
This division among the political players in Kanungu district did not stop at that because subsequent leaders from Kinkizi West and Kinkizi East have since lived under mistrust and sometimes live under sharp disagreement.
Currently Kinkizi East MP Chris Baryomunsi and Kinkizi West MP James Ruggii Kaberuka on one hand and District NRM Chairman Godfrey Karabenda and District Chairperson Josephine Kasya do not see eye to eye over several issues in the district.
However the Woman MP Elizabeth Karungi has played it cool and remained neutral.Kanungu peace lovers however want President Museveni to use the visit to reconcile these divergent minded leaders for the sake of developing the district.