District bosses under their umbrella organization Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) have hailed President Yoweri Museveni for stopping the creation of another 23 districts.
"The reason we have called you today is to convey our gratitude to His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni for stopping the creation of new 23 districts," the association president, Odok Peter W' Oceng said on Saturday.
Odok appealed to Government not to succumb to political pressures on creation of new districts without a viable economic base to support their operations.
Government has in the recent past come under heavy criticism over its plan to create more districts with some voicing concern that service delivery in the existing districts lacks the fluidity of effectiveness and efficiency.
A dose of such denunciation trickled in from the finance ministry.
Minister Maria Kiwanuka last year said that creation of new districts does not lead to increase in service delivery since government cannot afford to build more service units.
"Moreover, new districts lead to increase in administrative overheads where service units remain the same in number," she had said.
According to her ministry's estimation, creation of a new district requires an additional sh1.1billion in administrative costs.
Around the same time, district leaders agreed that creation of more districts would create unnecessary administrative costs that the government was ill-prepared to meet.
But government countered the argument that the creation of more administrative units would be a liability than an asset. It said the move was aimed at taking or bringing services closer to the people.
The Electoral Commission revealed at that time that each new district needed sh671m to put structures needed to conduct elections there.
There have emerged reports that some districts are understaffed with an estimated 55% of job positions vacant.
On Saturday, Odok's message was clear: "We continue to hear dissenting voices from some of our political leaders, but our simple advice to them is that service delivery is not necessarily simply about more districts."
His take is that sustainable mechanisms should instead be put in place for improving people's livelihoods.
He was at a media briefing about the association's recommendations to government regarding the financial year 2013/2014 budget estimates at Grace Restaurant in Lubowa, Kampala.
The association wants government to increase budget allocation in the sectors of agriculture, education, health, energy, water and roads.
It also urges Parliament to amend the Local Government Act that will allow districts to engage in investment initiatives for alternative revenue generation.
Odok criticized government and the Electoral Commission for delaying to conduct the local council elections as it has hampered service delivery at lower levels and also fueled land conflicts coupled with a rise in crime rate.
"Elections of Local Council I and II leaders is long overdue," he said.
"Lack of administrative structure at the grassroots has caused increase in land conflicts, social disharmony in communities and general upsurge in crime rate."
The Igara East, MP Raphael Magezi urged the association members to concentrate on ensuring that Ugandans receive quality and efficient service delivery.
The legislator pledged to follow up the association's recommendations with Parliament.