A section of leaders and residents of Mukono District have rejected its split to create Nakifuuma, saying the new district will be a burden since they do not have enough revenue to run it.
Mr Tom Mukasa, an elder, told a meeting last Friday that it would not be sustainable to run a new district when Nakifuma Town Council is almost non- functional.
“Nakifuma Town council is still struggling and it has not been fully functional for three years. How can you convince me that the proposed new district will get funding from government when a smaller administrative unit has failed?” Mr Mukasa asked.
Ms Annet Nalwoga, a resident of Naggalama Trading Centre, said the county doesn’t have big commercial activities such as industries from which to collect taxes.
“Tax revenue from these small shops and businesses cannot run a district. Depending entirely on funds from the central government is not good, that is why many new districts are struggling,” she said.
However, some local leaders have disagreed and gone ahead to create a committee dubbed “Nakifuma County Steering Committee” to remind President Museveni about the 2011 campaign pledge of elevating Nakifuma County to a district status.
The five-member committee is headed by Mr Twairi Ssebaggala, the Mukono NRM chairperson, and deputised by Mr Kitaka Kavulu.
Waiting on Museveni pledge
Mr Kitaka said Nakifuma County is too big and has a population exceeding 300,000 people, which is one of the key requirements for attaining a district status.
“While campaigning in this area in 2011, President Museveni promised to give us a district only if we voted for him, which we did and he got 90 per cent votes here,” Mr Kitaka said.
“It is surprising that many other areas that made demands for a district status much later than us like Bugweri have already been elevated to a district status,” he added.
Mr Kitaka said they cannot accept government’s decision not to approve any more new districts because of financial constraints, saying: “Recently, government created new cities, where is the money to run the new cities going to come from?”
This comes at a time when Local Government minister, Mr Raphael Magyezi, recently said government would not approve creation of new administrative units because of resource constraints.
Mr Ssebaggala said if Nakifuma is granted a district, services would be extended to residents.
“Nakifuma County is too big as it shares boundaries with Luweero District in the north-west, Kayunga in the north and Buikwe in the east, which makes it difficult for some residents to access good service delivery,” he said.
He said they also want Nakifuma Health Centre III elevated to a district hospital.
Nakifuma County has one MP, consists six sub-counties, including Nabbaale, Namuganga, Kasawo, Nagojje, Ntunda, Kimenyedde, while the town councils are Kasawo, Nakifuma-Naggalama and Namataba. The local leaders propose that Nakifuma County buildings house the district headquarters but some residents want the district headquarters to be in Kasawo Trading Centre, claiming it is easily accessible. Last month, Mukono District Council passed a resolution endorsing the split.