Kween District struggles to hold three years later

In 2010, Kapchorwa District gave birth to its second child – Kween – five years after she brought Bukwo to the world. Bukwo, amid challenges like poor road network, inadequate infrastructure and facilities such as hospitals and schools, crawled on, stumbled and in a way, was out of her nappies.

Wednesday March 27 2013

Kween District struggles to hold three years later

A volunteer at River Giriki Community School in Kween District teaches children in a makeshift class. The district’s education sector is struggling to meet community demands. Photo by Stephen Otage.  

By Allan Chekwech

The political battles have not spared the technical wing either. Last year, Mr Anthony Lukwago, the then chief administrative officer, was forced to leave office after a section of councillors alleged that he was working in isolation and undermining the decisions of the political wing. Mr Lukwago, in an interview with this newspaper then, indicated that the working environment in Kween was gloomy and he was even scared for his life. He, however, denied claims that he was working in isolation.

A section of councillors also reportedly accused Mr Lukwago of erecting the district headquarters buildings despite a directive from the political wing to halt the same since the location of the headquarters was still an issue of contention.

Mr Lukwago swallowed the bitter pill and left Kween. That was done, but the dust from the political battle ground was and is yet to settle.

Location of district headquarters
Mr Lukwago’s departure would not bring peace to the infant district. The issue of the headquarters location would simmer on for the following months and perhaps could continue.

In May last year, the Minister for Local Government, Mr Adolf Mwesige, intervened in the matter and during a meeting in Kween, announced that the district would have three town councils and the offices would be in Binyiny and Kaproron sub-counties– the other town council after Chepsukunya.

In January this year, residents disrupted transport on the Kapchorwa-Suam road when they protested the transfer of some offices, let alone the district headquarters, to Kaproron.

The chief administrative officer, Mr Michael Nandala, and the district speaker, Ms Joseline Cherotwo, had resolved that some departments be transferred to Kaproron as suggested by Mr Mwesige and his team.

“We cannot have two headquarters. Away with plans of dividing the people,” the residents wrote on placards they brandished.

It only took the resident district commissioner, Mr Joseph Okwakau, to calm them down, promising to settle the matter.

That aside, the residents have dwelt on the ‘trivial’ issue of headquarters location and who the district boss should be, giving crucial aspects such as schools, health centres, roads, and food a blind eye and deaf ear.

About 500 people remain in refugee camps named Kisangani and Rwanda in Kwanyiny Sub-county and are living in deplorable conditions.

The group was reportedly evicted from Mt. Elgon National Park between 1999 and 2000 by Uganda Wildlife Authority officials and has a limited source of income.

The chairperson of the camps, Mr Patrick Satya, says the government in 2011 promised to give them alternative land for settlement but nothing has been done to date.

Ms Lydia Chekwel, the area Woman MP, says: “I pray the government resettles people in Benet and Kwanyiny.”

A survey carried out by this newspaper in the district recently shows that the health system is equally sick and in dire need of help from relevant authorities.

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