25 June 2009

Uganda: Creation of New District Sparks Row in Lango

Lira — The creation of Otuke District, to be carved out of Lira District, as presented by the Local Government Minister, Mr Adolf Mwesigye, recently in Parliament, has sparked a row with fresh demands for another district emerging.

Instead of Otuke, Lira district leaders want the government to name Moroto County a district, if not both of them.

Lira district chairman Franco Ojur has written to the ministry, tabling a fresh demand for the creation of Moroto District.

"I am struggling for a new district so that the people can get employment," Mr Ojur told reporters in Lira Town on Tuesday.

"I am well aware that the creation of Otuke is nearly complete but it is contrary to the council resolution of 2006," he added.

According to a letter dated 21\LDGL2006, capturing minutes written by the district council, members had recommended the creation of two new districts comprising of Otuke and Moroto.

The Minister of Local Government has already presented a list of 14 new districts. Among them is Otuke district which is suppose to commence from July 1 this year.

The Northern Youth MP, Mr Hamson Denis Obua, in his letter to the Lira District council, dated May 22, explained that government resolved that Moroto will now be part of Otuke District, a position being contested by some leaders in Lira.

Mr Obua said the matter was discussed by the third council sitting of Lira District.

"The meeting was informed that the new district only awaited council resolution which would be passed to the new Cabinet. Parliament only resolved the creation of Otuke leaving out Moroto which was a cornerstone," the youth MP said in his letter.

It is not clear what other steps the politicians might take to resolve the stalemate. But Mr Ojur argues that Moroto can not be left out because it has a population of 204,900 which is more than that of Otuke which stands at 77,772 according to available data.

Dokolo and Amolatar districts were formerly part of Lira district. However, most of these districts have a weak resource base and cannot sustain their operations.

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