11 July 2012

Uganda: Eastern MPs Complain of Regional Imbalance

MPs from Eastern Uganda have attributed underdevelopment of their region to unemployment and poor service delivery in the sectors of health, roads, education, which they link to the rampant poverty and the jigger outbreak in the region.

The MPs said despite several pledges in terms of roads, hospitals, schools among other infrastructural services by President Museveni over time, their region has lagged behind in development due to lack of fulfillment of the pledges.

Addressing journalists shortly after a meeting on Tuesday at Parliament, the MPs led by Capt. Mike Mukula said the poor development of the region had been triggered by lack of a top political leader from the region to fuel development of the area.

"Our region has been disadvantaged and sidelined. The East is the only region with the high percentage of poverty. If you visit the region the only thing you see is poverty-stricken families," said Simon Mulongo (Bubulo East).

The MPs complained about the poor road network of the region which they said has highly contributed to the backwardness of the region on the expenses of other regions like the central, west among other regions.

The Eastern region comprises of areas like Teso, Bugishu, Serbia, Bukedea, and Busoga.

According to the Eastern legislators, their region has not fully benefited from ministerial appointments among other promotions by President Museveni despite the highly intelligent and competent members from the region.

"We don't only have great leadership skills but capable people who can lead this country. We should all forget our differences and work together to get the political question answered," noted Jacob Oboth Oboth (West Budama).

Budaka woman MP Sarah Kataike expressed the need to demand their rights. "We are highly disadvantaged and this is the time to have a share as a region," she said.

John Bagoole of Luuka county in Busoga said since the current government took over power, their region has always lagged behind yet it ranks the best when it comes to voting for the NRM government.

The NRM vice chairman of Eastern Region and also chairman of the Eastern caucus, Mike Mukula said it was not pleasing to have the NRM-led people with jiggers and poverty.

His call is to ensure that there is a solution to their problems.

"It's my duty to mobilize for this region so that the party can remain in power. We are not proud if people the NRM government leads have jiggers," Mukula said.

Minister for Teso Affairs, Amongin Aporu said there was need for government to ensure that it fulfills its pledges to improve on development of some regions.

Kongasis County MP Nelson Sabila (Bukwo district) said government has continued to pledge construction of many of their roads during the budget speech but with no success.

The MPs resolved to meet President Museveni over their problems which they want to be addressed urgently.

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