Govt suspends creation of new districts, sub-counties

Monday April 05 2021
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Government says it is looking for money to fund the more than 720 sub-counties and as such has no money to fund more administrative units. PHOTO/FILE/PPU

By Denis Opoka

The minister of Local Government, Mr Raphael Magyezi, has said the government has indefinitely suspended the creation of new administrative structures across the country.

According to Mr Magyezi, the new structures have widened the funding gaps of lower local governments and the government is currently looking for money to fund the recently created districts and cities.

“I want to inform the people, please don’t come to the minister of Local Government asking for more administrative units; they are not there,” he said.
The minister added that the local leaders, politicians and public should instead focus on creation of economic zones in the already existing districts to boost local revenue collections.

“We are looking for money to fund the more than 720 sub-counties, which we recently created and besides, we are just from the election. There is no money to fund more administrative units,” Mr Magyezi said.

The minister said this last Tuesday while addressing journalists in Omiya Anyima Sub-county, Kitgum District, on the sidelines of the visit of the parliamentary Committee of Public Service and Local Government to the PRELNOR project.

According to the minister, Uganda has 364 sub-counties, 352 town councils and 10 cities, which he said are waiting for funding from the Ministry of Finance for their operationalisation.

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Most of the newly created administrative structures have had elections for their representatives, both in Parliament and the lower local levels. And for the lower local levels, most of them are yet to construct their town council or sub-county headquarters.

In Kitgum District alone, there are eight newly created sub-counties and two new town councils. They are Mucwini East and Mucwini West from Mucwini Sub-county, Kitgum Matidi Town Council from Kitgum Matidi Sub-county, Omiya Anyima West from Omiya Anyima Sub-county, and Kiteny and Orom East from Orom Sub-county. Others are Namokora Town Council and Namokora North from Namokora Sub-county.

Past warnings
 In 2019, President Museveni warned the then minister for Local Government, Mr Tom Butime, against the creation of too many municipalities and town councils that he said would put a strain on government coffers.

Last year, the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, said Ugandans who agitate for the creation of districts, constituencies and other political units are creating a burden to the treasury.

Ms Kadaga said Ugandans should know that the creation of more political units, increases government expenditure to pay salaries and allowances to numerous officials who occupy the new offices in the mushrooming administrative units.

“Creating more constituencies not only affects the county but also the beneficiaries because when the budget is big, it becomes hard for the government to fund it,” she said.

She was being hosted on Voice of Tooro radio in Fort Portal Town while soliciting votes from supporters of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The Speaker was contesting for the position of deputy female chairperson of the NRM Central Executive Committee.

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