Mbarara Leaders Divided Over Proposed Rwampara District

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In short
Leaders from Rwampara County in Mbarara district appear to be divided over a government proposal to elevate the area to a district.

Leaders from Rwampara County in Mbarara district appear to be divided over a government proposal to elevate the area to a district.

Last week, cabinet approved the creation of 20 more districts including Rwampara.

While welcoming President Yoweri Museveni at Kinoni playground in Rwampara County on January 3 2011, Vincent Kyamadidi, the area MP told him his people wanted a district. Kyamadiidi was by then campaigning for the area parliamentary seat.

In response, President Museveni noted that if a child grows to a level of running his own family, you give him his own property. This literally meant he was in support of their demand for a district.

But the cabinet proposal has ignited mixed reactions in Rwampara.

Jomo Mugabi, the Mbarara district NRM chairman, who is also LC3 chairman for Nyakayojo says his sub county will not be part of Rwampara district. Mugabi insists that if Rwampara is made a district all the wealth at Mbarara district will go to Kashari County.

Mbarara district is made up of Kashari, Rwampara and Mbarara Municipality constituencies. Mbarara municipality has however applied to become a city and the proposal is before cabinet. Mugabi argues that in the likely event that the city status is granted, Kashari will also automatically become a district.

He adds that after the February 18th elections, a delegation from Rwampara met President Museveni at his Rwakitura home and told him not to make the county a district.

As per the procedure, Mbarara district council passed a resolution on March 23rd to create Rwampara district and the Chief Administrative Officer, Wilson Tibugyenda was supposed to submit it to the Minister of Local Government.

It has emerged, however, that the CAO’s office had by last week not submitted the council resolution passed five months ago, yet it is mandatory. When contacted, Tibugyenda could not explain the delay but denied any political influence in the matter.
Mbarara District Chairman, Deus Tumusiime who assumed office in May after the resolution had been passed, says some of the sub counties are opposed to the creation of the district because they were not consulted and made no resolution yet it should be have been the case.

Area MPs, Emma Boona and Vincent Kyamadidi say they are not opposed to the creation of the district if people want it. Boona, who is the Mbarara woman MP, says if there are disagreements among stakeholders, Public Service and Local Government Committee of parliament will visit the county, talk to people and make a report which parliament will go by.

The proposed Rwampara district has a population of 143,450 people.