Museveni pledges new districts

President Museveni campaigns in Bubulo West, Manafwa District, yesterday. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

MANAFWA- President Museveni yesterday promised his government will lift the moratorium on the creation of new districts, pledging that there is a “long list” of districts to be created in 2017.

The announcement marks a change of heart by the President who announced a freeze on the creation of new districts in 2013, arguing that they were too expensive to bankroll amid a flurry of demands for the new administrative units around the country.

Campaigning in Bubulo West, Manafwa District, Mr Museveni assured residents, who are demanding a district be carved out of Manafwa and named Namisindwa, that their request will be granted if he secures a fifth term next year.

“There is the issue of Namisidwa District which my late friend [John Waswaka] has been demanding. We are not only talking about Namisindwa but there is a long list [of districts to be created] which I do not have here. After 2017, we will have covered a good direction on roads and electricity and we shall deal with the roads,” he said.

The President indicated that Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda will tomorrow head to Bududa District to get to the bottom of the conflict between residents and the management of Mt Elgon National Park over encroachment on land owned by the park.

Festering tension over encroachment on the park became a full-blown campaign issue after Mr Museveni vowed to have FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye arrested and prosecuted over remarks he made on how the dispute should be resolved.

Dr Besigye reportedly said he would allow the local to occupy part of the reserve land. The FDC, however, insists that Dr Besigye never made any such promise.

The recent demand for new districts

Although the President did not specify which districts are to be created, Parliament’s Local Government Committee this year recommended the splitting of Wakiso, Kibaale, Kabale, Arua and Kasese districts.

But government was in July forced to drop a proposal for the creation of 25 new districts after some MPs and civil society activists raised the red flag, warning that this would further skyrocket the cost of public administration.

Local Government minister Adolf Mwesige was quoted warning that the proposal to create 25 new districts would require an additional Shs50b on top of the Shs14b annual budget required for running the proposed new districts.


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