Power struggles amongst the local leaders in Jinja have affected the delivery of key services in the district. Over the past five years, leaders in Jinja have been divided along political party affiliations, factions in Busoga kingdom and level of education.
The disunity has impacted negatively on the delivery of key services to the electorate such as street lighting, garbage collection and road maintenance amongst others.
At the center of the wrangles are Muhammad Baswale Kezaala, the mayor Jinja Municipality and LC 3 chairman of Jinja Central Division Mubaraka Kirunda. The two local leaders have failed to put aside their differences and plan for delivery of services to their electorate.
As a result, Jinja Central Division has been in a power black out for the passed five years because of lack of streetlights. Jinja Municipal council is responsible for street lighting in central division but the project has failed because Kezaala and Kirunda cannot work as a team.
Harry Kasigwa, Jinja municipality west Member of Parliament blames Kezaala for personalizing the drive to elevate Jinja municipality to a city status. Kasigwa says that the move to elevate the Jinja should involve all leaders in the municipality, right from the wards, municipality, District and members of parliament.
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He explains that leaders in Jinja are now decampaigning each other ahead of the 2011 polls because of the division.
Mohammed Baswale Kezaala, the Mayor Jinja municipality says other leaders are sabotaging his plan to twin Jinja and other towns like Bugembe, Kakira and Buwenge because they have misconstrued his intentions.
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Kezaala believes that Jinja has a better chance of achieving its dream of becoming a city if it works with the divisions. Andrew Kasigwa, Jinja central division speaker however attributes the problems in the municipal to an information gap.
He accuses the municipality of failing to pass information on issues like land to lower councils, which has led to wrangles, and escalation of land grabbing. Kasigwa says that the land wrangles have pushed away investors saying that there is need for good will among leaders in order to foster development.
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Jinja will start operating as a city in July 2011 but the division among the political leadership is likely to affect progress of the city.