Uganda: Hansard - How MPs Approved Illegal Municipalities in 2015

30 December 2019

On Friday, the Constitutional court overturned the election of six members of parliament in newly created municipalities across the country. The affected MPs are Asuman Basalirwa (Bugiri municipality), Elioda Tumwesigye (Sheema municipality), Hashim Sulaiman (Nebbi municipality ), Peter Abrahams Lokii (Kotido municipality), Patrick Ocan (Apac) and Tarsis Rwaburindore Bishanga (Ibanda municipality).

In the unanimous judgment of the five-member panel, the Constitutional court justices noted that the election of six legislators was null and void since there was no vacant office in their respective areas.

Justice Christopher Madrama noted the that seats the MP contested for were already represented by MPs elected in the 2016 general elections. The judgment has triggered immense debate across the political divide. URN traces the motion moved by the then Local Government minister, Adolf Mwesige on August 12, 2015 for the creation of new municipalities.

The motion initially proposed the creation of 12 new municipalities of Nansana, Kira, Makindye-Ssabagabo, Kisoro, Mityana, Njeru, Kitgum, Ibanda, Koboko, Mubende, Kumi, and Lugazi. The motion attracted a lot debate, with the then shadow Local Government minister, Betty Nambooze accusing government of trying to create electoral areas to benefit its supporters and burden the taxpayer.

However, parliament approved the motion on August 20, 2015 with an amendment from Mwesige to include six new municipalities. The deputy speaker, Jacob Oulanyah chaired both the August 12th and 20th sittings that considered the new municipalities. This is what transpired.

12th August 2015: MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT MOVED UNDER SECTION 7 (2)(a) OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ACT PROVIDING FOR CREATION OF NEW MUNICIPALITIES

Adolf Mwesige (minister of Local Government): Thank you very much, Mr speaker. I beg to move a motion under Section 7(2) (a) of the Local Government Act to provide for creation of new municipalities:

"WHEREAS section 7(2) of the Local Government Act empowers a district council, with the approval of parliament, to create a municipality within its area of jurisdiction in accordance with paragraph 32 of the Third Schedule to the Act;

AND WHEREAS the Local Government Act empowers the district council, with the approval of parliament, to alter the boundaries or create a new municipality it is considered necessary to create the municipalities listed hereunder for the effective administration and organised delivery of services to the people for proper planning and expansion of the areas to ensure orderly development;

AND HAVING taken into account the multiplier effect on the economy, the economic viability and the wishes of the people of those areas concerned;

I now move that the following new municipalities be created in Uganda as indicated below: Nansana Municipal Council in Wakiso district; Kira municipality in Wakiso; Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality in Wakiso; Kisoro municipality in Kisoro district; Mityana municipality in Mityana district; Njeru municipality in Buikwe district; Kitgum municipality in Kitgum district; Ibanda municipality in Ibanda district; Koboko municipality in Koboko district; Mubende municipality in Mubende district; Kumi municipality in Kumi district; and Lugazi municipality in Buikwe district. It is my prayer, Mr speaker that the municipalities take effect from 1 July this year."

Deputy speaker Oulanyah: Is the motion seconded? Okay, the motion is seconded by the member for Kitgum, member for Gulu, member for Ndorwa, member for Kisoro, member for Terego, member for Koboko, member for Lamwo and the members for Wakiso, Fort Portal and all members standing. Would you like to speak to your motion?

Mwesige: Thank you, Mr speaker. The criterion for the creation of municipalities, which we have followed in making these proposals, is guided by the provisions of paragraph 32 in the Third Schedule to the Local Governments Act. I wish to confirm that the proposed municipalities have been able to meet the following requirements:

They all have the capacity to meet the cost of delivery of services as well as have suitable office accommodation; All the town councils out of which the municipal councils will be formed have physical plans for land use; they have reliable water sources; they have a reasonable financial base to begin from because they all have local revenue - (interjection) - Yes, they do; we have studied them. There is no town council which we are making a municipal council that does not have local revenue; There is availability of social services such as health facilities and education institutions.

There is land in each proposed municipal council for effective planning and future expansion; Each of them has got a minimum of 100,000 inhabitants; and All the town councils together with the neighbouring areas, which we are elevating into municipal councils, have got the support and resolutions of the district councils where these town councils are located. I beg to lay on the Table the district council resolutions containing the minutes of all the district councils from which these municipalities are being formed for the information of members.

Oulanyah: Let the records capture that.

Mwesige: Thank you, Mr speaker. The composition of the municipalities has been demarcated by the planning units of the respective district councils and approved by the technical planning unit of the ministry of Local Government. The composition is attached to the motion as annexure No.1. In the composition, each municipality clearly has divisions which will work as lower local governments within the municipalities that I have proposed. Mr speaker, I beg to move that these -

Oulanyah: Honourable minister, I would like you to deal with the composition also so that what you are proposing is clear on the record. Deal with the composition of those municipalities.

Mwesige: Should I read them out?

Oulanyah: Yes, please.

Mwesige: Okay. The composition is as follows, Mr speaker: For Nansana municipality, we will have Nansana Division together with Nabweru Division. Nabweru is being annexed to Nansana town council to form Nansana municipality. Nabweru and Nansana will also be divisions.

In Kira municipality , we will have Kira Division, Namugongo Division and Bweyogerere Division. Makindye-Ssabagabo is now a sub-county but an urban one, as you know, which is being formed into a municipality. It will constitute of Sseguku Division, Bunamwaya Division and Ndejje Division. Kisoro municipality, in addition to the nucleus of Kisoro town council, which is Central Division, will have Northern Division and Southern Division.

Mityana municipality will consist of Central Division, Ttamu Division and Busimbi Division. Njeru Municipal Council has been joined by Nyenga sub-county, which is now Nyenda Division, and Wakisi sub-county, which is now Wakisi Division. Kitgum municipality will have Pager Division, Central Division and Pandwong Division. Ibanda municipality will have Bufunda Division, Kagongo Division and Bisheshe Division. Koboko municipality will have North Division, South Division and West Division.

Mubende municipality will consist of East Division, South Division and West Division. Kumi Municipal Council will have South Division and North Division. Lugazi Municipal Council - the town council has been joined by Kawolo and Najjembe sub-counties to form Kawolo Division and Najjembe Division together with Central Division.

All these sub-divisions, Mr speaker, have been done by resolutions of the respective district councils. Mr speaker, I beg to move.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, that is the motion from the honourable minister. It is seconded by many of the members listed. I will propose this motion for your debate. The motion is for a resolution of parliament moved under section 7(2) (a) of the Local Governments Act providing for the creation of new municipalities. That is the motion for your debate. If the honourable members are ready to debate, debate will be starting now and we will start with the shadow minister of Local Government.

Betty Nambooze (shadow minister for Local Government): Thank you, Mr speaker. The development of urban centres, even though through the creation of new municipalities, has been featuring in our alternative ministerial policies for the last three years. Our argument has been, and still is, that we can even turn all the local governments, for example those in the greater Kampala metropolitan area, into municipalities.

We have also proposed the creation of regional cities, which would ease the pressure on Kampala city and also cater for the challenge of unplanned urbanisation. (Applause) We, therefore, support this motion in principle.

However, we resist the manner in which these particular municipalities are being created. (Applause) If I read the mind of my minister and the would-be recipients properly, it seems out there people are interested in creating municipalities as electoral areas to bring into this kafunda - if I can go by the president's term - more MPs, and give our people more mayors, division chairpersons and councillors. Municipalities in this context will be an additional burden on the taxpayer and this would be immoral.

We in the opposition are thinking about municipalities which are big in size to cater for a big population and sizably developed town councils. We have never thought about a junction with ten shops to be declared a municipality, like it is going to happen in some cases. Our understanding of a municipality is elevating what we have known to be Kyadondo East to a municipal status with Nangabo sub-county becoming a division; and the municipality of Mukono, for example, would be what was Mukono North.

Allowing municipalities to take over their rural neighbourhoods would facilitate proper planning as town planners would first plan and develop the rural parts to allow migration of people from the old to the new towns and then redesign the old parts to fit into a new arrangement. What we are doing now - just declaring slums municipalities - creates a very big problem for city managers as they try to redevelop the already occupied slums without giving the people an alternative.

The opposition in parliament, Mr speaker, is of the view that we should be declaring municipalities for the benefit of the urban poor and not for rich men to go and take over land originally belonging to schools, markets, road reserves and poor men's bibanja. Today, municipalities are created with names of people tagged to them as their MPs in what is referred to as gerrymandering. This is wrong and it borders on vote-rigging. We, therefore, need a clear policy on how, when and where municipalities can be created.

We are also of the view that priority should be given to the old traditional towns like Kapchorwa, Luweero, Rakai, Kamuli, Bugiri or even implementing Article 178 (4) (a) by creating Mengo municipality because it commanded in the Constitution - (applause) - Apac too; of course, it is an old town. Evidence is available to indicate that the minister for Local Government wrote to selected town councils and directed them to move motions in favour of their elevation to municipalities with instructions that extended to details such as the number of divisions that should be in those municipalities.

Mr speaker, we demand for fairness. The whole of Busoga region, for example, has not benefited from this motion. (Applause) We are saying that if there is an opportunity to elevate town councils, all members of this House and all districts should be made aware of this opportunity and proposals should come in fairly. It would be dangerous for us to sit here and begin declaring areas municipalities without visiting them. We need to visit these areas, talk to the intended beneficiaries and consider their local revenue so that we can decide from an informed point of view.

We should also create municipalities accompanied with resolutions for funding. The capacity of our local governments at the moment, according to the ministerial policy statements, stands as follows: three municipal councils in Uganda do not have town clerks; 66 districts do not have chief finance officers; six municipal councils do not have principal treasurers; 55 districts do not have district planners; nine municipal councils do not have senior planners; 56 districts and three municipalities do not have principal internal auditors. Why are we creating these local governments? Yes, it is because we want to take services to the people but if we do not give them the technical staff, who are supposed to deliver services, what are we creating?

Finally, we are of the view that we need to create municipalities and more towns to cater for our people who are migrating to towns for bigger opportunities, especially the youth, because we know that Kampala is overstretched. However, we want this to be done in an orderly manner.

We do not want parliament to be ambushed with motions. We do not want our minds to be in other places other than for the provision of services. We do not want to create municipalities to create MPs and mayors. We want to create municipalities to take services to our people and in doing that, we must be prepared.

Mr speaker, I wish to end here by saying that if we are creating these municipalities to accommodate people who proposed the sole candidature motion, then we are doomed. I beg to move.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, debate starts now. Can we do two minutes each? Okay, three minutes for each member and I will start with Hon. Onyango Kakoba. Honourable members, please sit.

Onyango Kakoba (NRM, Buikwe County North): I would like to take this opportunity to support the motion that has been moved by the minister. As we are all aware, the way out for development is through urbanisation. We know that if we want to develop, we have to urbanise our areas and make sure we halt rural-urban migration. We are all aware that these cities are overburdened and we think that if these areas are urbanized, it will help us in halting the creation of rural-urban migration.

Mr speaker, it has also been pointed out that when these rural areas are taken on while still virgin, they have the potential of developing. We all know what is happening in Kampala; Kampala is now very difficult to plan for because it was not planned for previously. So we believe that by taking on these rural areas and making them urban areas, we would be doing better planning for them.

If I am to speak for the case of Njeru municipality, for instance; it consists not only of Njeru town council but Wakisi, Njeru and Nyenga. This is actually the whole of Buikwe North. This answers the fears that were raised by Hon. Betty Nambooze that these areas or municipalities are created to accommodate new MPs. This is not the case because for the case of Njeru, there is going to be no additional MP because it is the whole Buikwe North that has been turned into a municipality. The intention is to make sure that we plan for these areas.

Mr speaker, these municipalities have also not just come. In the case of Njeru, this process has been ongoing for some time and there have been consultations and studies done. I am sure that it was out of these studies and consultations that the ministry has come out with these municipalities. I do appeal to this House to support the creation of these municipalities because it is the basis for urbanisation.

I was recently watching a documentary about a village in China. It was a rural area but it is now a city. The testimonies that were being given by the people there were that they have developed more than they used to be before and yet they initially had fears when this project came on board. Mr speaker and honourable members, I do appeal to you to support these municipalities for the development of Uganda. I thank you very much.

Paul Mwiru (FDC, Jinja municipality East): Thank you, Mr speaker. I rise to support the motion - (Applause) - on the understanding that the justification raised by the minister is actually factual.

I would like to speak about the planning aspect. The physical development plans for these areas, as far as the land use is concerned - I have been to very many areas and planning is actually very key in as far as granting of these municipalities is concerned. I have had the benefit of visiting very many municipalities that exist as of now and the function of planning has been negated and almost left to politicians. I will give an example of my district; you pass through a place and you see how a municipality is being run and you wonder what is actually taking place.

I would like to implore the minister for Local Government that as we create these municipalities, the planning function should actually be taken very serious. Otherwise, you shall just be creating slums under the guise of creating municipalities and yet municipalities are supposed to have a different look from other settings we have.

I have also looked at the population census and Busoga was almost approaching five million. However, when I look at the municipalities being created by the minister, I do not know what we should tell the people of Busoga about how you rate them or what you think about them. If the argument is that these municipalities take services close to the people, I do not want to doubt that the people of Busoga, and I do not think that you also doubt it, honourable minister, also want these services. I do not think you have any doubt in your mind.

As we move on, now that I see a certificate of financial implications you are relying on, the next time you come up with such an idea, you need to read our minds. We do not want to be very selfish to oppose this but at least we are speaking our minds and in unison. Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Simon Aleper (NRM, Moroto municipality ): Mr speaker, I beg to proceed under rule 50 of our Rules of Procedure to move a motion without notice. I want to move an amendment to the motion that has just been moved by the minister, that the proposal that he has made be opened to include Kotido. (Laughter)

Mr speaker, strong reasons have been given and above all, what matters is the element of services to the people. I want to make reference to our Constitution; if you look at the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, No. XII is on balanced and equitable development. I want to go straight to paragraph (iii), which states, "The state shall take special measures in favour of the development of the least developed areas." (Applause)

Mr speaker, if we are fair, when we talk about balanced development, Karamoja is one region that all the members in this House, I am very happy, have been very passionate about. Now, Kotido falls under Karamoja, which has been indicated as the least developed. It is, therefore, very unfair for us to talk about services to the people and forget that there is a region that is supposed to be addressed under the principles of this Constitution. That is the spirit in which I am moving under rule 50, that this motion that the minister has moved be amended to accommodate Kotido to be elevated to the status of a municipality, and others. (Applause)

Mr speaker, if we are to move by the principles of the Bible - thine shall be done on earth as it in heaven - then this world would be upside down. If in heaven every time people are supposed to continue singing and we are to do it on earth, that every time we must continue singing, then we would be having a different world. Therefore, if you want orthodox -

Honourable minister, let us be fair here, one of the most loyal regions to our government is Karamoja. (Applause) So we cannot be rewarded by every time ignoring a region that has been consistent. We have not only been consistent, because I know there are also others which are consistent, but we are talking about development here. How do we take services to the least developed places when we are intentionally skipping such places?

Mr speaker, I beg to move that Kotido be included on the list of municipalities so that - (interjections) - and others which may be relevant to this motion. I beg to move. (applause)

Mwesige: Mr speaker, I have listened to the very strong argument by my brother from Karamoja. There is no doubt that Karamoja needs more affirmative action and indeed government has done a lot to ensure support and affirmative action to Karamoja. However, as I did say, the creation of these municipalities followed a study and there were criteria which I outlined. It is not just about petitions. As I said, under the law, the Local Government Act, paragraph 32 of the third schedule, for a town council to qualify to be a municipal council it must, among other things, have a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants.

We have studied - (interjection) - can I finish my sentence? We have studied all the town councils including Kotido, Koboko and others, and our findings on Kotido were that at the moment, even with expanded boundaries, the population of Kotido is 50,000. Therefore, Mr speaker - (interruption)

Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman MP): Mr speaker, I feel very uncomfortable to raise a point of order against our minister of Local Government, who is so dear to us; it is because I have to make a point.

The minister is saying that there was an exercise, which was done, and guidelines were given for creation of municipalities. He is talking of population tagged to those municipalities. To be fair to this country, as Ugandans we all belong to one country; we have nowhere else to go. The minister has presented to us a list of municipalities. He did not give us those guidelines to show that this municipality was granted because it had this population and so on; he did not. (Applause)

Secondly, Mr speaker, I do not want to be tribal but I want to tell the minister, and that is why I am raising a point of order now, that there are traditional towns, which were created by the late Idi Amin in 1974 and Kotido was one of them, Apac is one of them, Kitgum is one of them and Kumi is one of them. These are the traditional towns created by the late Idi Amin in 1974.

Is the minister in order, therefore, to play with our intellectual ability? He is well aware that the people of Apac, composed of the chairperson, the speaker and other dignitaries, came to your office personally and the municipalities that had qualified were 22 and on your list Apac was No. 11 and it had qualified for a status of a municipality. Is the minister therefore, in order to smuggle information which he has not properly scrutinised and deceive the people of Uganda? We want to be fair. We do not want to fight anybody but be fair to the areas that deserve municipality status.

Mr speaker, as a Ugandan and a senior citizen, Uganda belongs to us whether I am in Kotido, Kisoro or wherever. Is the minister in order to be fragmenting Uganda with lies instead of telling us the truth and giving us facts to justify his presentation? Is he in order?

Oulanyah: Honourable members, it is easier to rule on the law and the procedure of the House than to rule on factual matters that are not within the knowledge of the speaker. This happens to be one of them. I am not aware of when Idi Amin created what and the results of the minister's study. The two of you know what you are talking about but I do not. I cannot rule on it. However, honourable minister, treat it as some information that could guide you on what you are saying.

Mwesige: Well, Mr speaker, I have received the information and I had just said that the criteria are written in the law. I am talking about the criteria for creating a municipal council, which are enshrined in paragraph 32 of the third schedule to the Local Governments Act.

Part of the criteria is a minimum of 100,000 people. The report on the study which I carried out is here; it is entitled, "Assessment of Town Councils for Elevation to Municipal Council Status".

The figures for Kotido are just 50,000. Of course, you have to select. I cannot change the figures on the floor of the House. What I have presented are the municipal councils, which have more than 100,000 people in addition to other criteria. Therefore, I am afraid that I cannot accommodate the idea of Kotido or even Apac. (interruption)

Jacqueline Amongin (Ngora Woman MP): Mr speaker, I rise on a point of order. The minister of Local Government clearly read out in this House the criteria in regards to the creation of municipalities. One of them was capacity to meet the cost of delivery of services, which I believe Kotido has.

He also talked about the capacity of the existence of a physical development plan, a reliable water supply, a reasonable financial base and available social services such as health and education, which I believe Kotido has. Mr speaker, when the minister presented these facts to us, he did not really emphasise on population. He only emphasised these other factors. Is the honourable minister, therefore, in order?

In fact, when the minister presented the motion on the creation of counties to this parliament, he clearly stated that those districts that have already got counties would not again be considered for municipalities. Isn't the minister of Local Government, Hon Adolf Mwesige, taking parliament for granted, otherwise it would not have been brought to parliament; we have a voice?

Is the minister in order to come and assume that the proposed areas that members are raising their voices on, like Kotido and Kibaale, are raw? Is the minister of Local Government in order to assume that the NRM government in power cannot deliver these services even when Kotido is granted a municipal status?

Oulanyah: Honourable members, that was a very powerful speech, but it does not amount to a point of order. (Laughter)

Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri County): Thank you very much, Mr speaker. I have carefully listened to the minister of Local Government while he presented his motion. In his presentation, which I would rather call submission, the minister indicated there was a study carried out by his ministry. Unfortunately, he is the only one in this House who is privy to that study. None of us knows what is contained in that study but he is here seeking our leave to have these municipalities created.

It may be possible that there are other deserving cases, which actually fall within the criteria that are provided for under the Local Governments Act. However, this can only be possible if our relevant committee has had an opportunity to study this resolution, called in all stakeholders, and is in a position to advise this House that these proposed municipalities are viable and fall within the criteria provided for under the law.

For us to go ahead, honourable colleagues, - I know some of our colleagues are beneficiaries of these - I implore you to listen to fairness. To ask us to take a decision without knowing what is contained in that study and without discussing this with other stakeholders would be very unfair and wrong. This House will not have any basis, Mr Speaker and honourable colleagues, to decide one way or the other; we have no basis. The only person who has the basis is the minister.

Therefore, the procedural point I am rising on is whether it would not be procedurally correct to refer this motion to the committee. The committee will then study it together with the report the minister is talking about, interact with some other people and look at maybe other deserving cases and bring a report for us take a decision?

I always trust the wisdom and judgment of the speaker. I am sure he has read the mood in the House and he has carefully listened to my submission more importantly. (Laughter) Therefore, as a House, we require your procedural guidance, Mr speaker. Let us have this matter referred to a committee, which will be given some time to bring a report here, because we have no knowledge of what the minister is talking about. I seek your guidance, Mr speaker.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, the speaker does not operate on the mood of the House. (Laughter) If I was to move on the mood of the House, this House would have made many mistakes because I would have been forced by the mood of the House to take decisions ordinarily I would not have taken. That would amount to saying that the Speaker must act under pressure.

If there is a speaker who can never act under pressure, he is seated right here. Therefore, it is not the mood of the House that shapes what I say in this House, how I rule and how I guide the proceedings of this House. So, the honourable member for Bugweri, please take note. If you are going to rely on the mood of the House to guide how the Speaker proceeds, it is not right.

Honourable members, I had proposed this question for debate. There are issues that have arisen that require us to reflect over this matter before we proceed with it. This House is adjourned to tomorrow at 2 O'clock. (Applause)

(The House rose at 5.23 p.m. and adjourned until Thursday, 13 August 2015 at 2.00 p.m.)

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Oulanyah: Honourable members, this motion was moved. We received this motion already. Did I propose the question for debate?

Mwesige: Thank you very much, Mr speaker. I had formally moved the motion on creation of new municipalities and I think debate was about to commence.

I would like to inform this House that I intend to make amendments. I am therefore giving notice to this House that I have amendments to add more municipalities and also to phase them. However, to do that, I need the clearance of cabinet, which I will be seeking tomorrow morning and I will therefore come back with new amendments to the floor of this House tomorrow.

I therefore beg your indulgence, Mr speaker, to allow those amendments to be brought so that the House can debate and consider them in a holistic manner.

Eddie Kwizera (Bufumbira East): Mr speaker, the motion was moved. I do not know if we shall be proceeding well - We can debate and at any time, the minister can move an amendment. I do not know if it is not okay - I thank you very much.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, the member for Bufumbira East is suggesting that we debate the motion as it is and wait for the amendment when it comes.

Honourable members, this is the situation. The mover of the motion, I guess going by the spirit of the debate we had last week over this matter, has gone and consulted and needs further consultation on how to handle this issue of municipalities. I think it will be proper for us to have the whole package and then we can debate more proactively.

Honourable members, in view of that, this House stands adjourned to tomorrow 2 O'clock.

(The House rose at 6.03 p.m. and adjourned until Wednesday, 19 August 2015 at 2.00 pm)

Thursday, 20 August 2015:

Mwesige: Thank you very much, Mr speaker and honourable members. Mr speaker, when you adjourned debate on this motion, I undertook to go back and request cabinet to review the motion which I had moved then. I did this with a view to causing an amendment, which would have the effect of adding a number of municipalities on the list of the municipalities on the motion which I had moved.

It is now my honour and privilege to present my amended motion in the following terms: the gist of the amended motion - If I can go straight, with your permission, Mr speaker, to the list of municipalities. I wish to move that the following municipalities take effect 1 July 2015: Nansana in Wakiso district - (interjection) - My motion is very clear. I had already read the composition of the motion. I am just amending the motion, so what I do not change stands unchanged; I am not going to repeat.

Nansana municipality in Wakiso district, Kira municipality , Makindye-Sabagabo municipality in Wakiso, Kisoro municipality in Kisoro district, Mityana municipality , Kitgum municipality , Koboko municipality , Mubende municipality , Kumi municipality , Lugazi municipality , Kamuli municipality in Kamuli district, and Kapchorwa municipality in Kapchorwa district.

Mr speaker, Kamuli municipality will consist of South and North divisions; Kapchorwa municipality will consist of East, Central and West divisions. The municipalities which will become effective 1 July 2016 are:

Ibanda municipality, Njeru municipality, Apac municipality, Nebbi municipality, Bugiri municipality, Sheema municipality and Kotido municipality. (Applause)

Mr speaker, Apac municipality will consist of Agulu, Akere and Arocha divisions. Nebbi municipality will consist of Tata, central and Abindu divisions. Bugiri will consist of east and west divisions. Sheema municipality will consist of Kagango, Kabwohe, Kashozi and Sheema Central divisions. Kotido municipality will consist of north and south divisions.

Mr speaker, I beg to move that the motion as amended be adopted. Thank you very much.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, this House received a motion which we tried to debate and this an amendment to that initial motion. Is the motion for amendment seconded? It is seconded by the member for Bugabula South, member for Maracha district, member for Budiope East, member for West Budama South, member for Mbarara municipality, member for Kitgum district, member for Koboko and member for Kaabong. Your motion is properly seconded.

Honourable members, the principle of this motion was presented and the justification was presented by the honourable minister. The amendment falls within the same principle that was presented by the honourable minister. If we need to have any debate, this would be the time.

Onyango: Mr speaker, I would like to thank the minister for presenting this. However, I rise on a procedural matter. The other time when the motion on these municipalities was presented, a number of municipalities were put forward and were supposed to start in 2015. One of them was Njeru municipality.

Now from the amendment that has been presented, all the municipalities that were supposed to commence in 2015 have come on board but Njeru has been moved to 2016. I would like to know why this was done and yet this motion was presented and a lot of hope was raised among the people of Buikwe North that this municipality would come in 2015.

Mr speaker, why should Buikwe North be treated differently from other areas and yet the original motion had Njeru as one of the municipalities to come in 2015? As people of Buikwe North, we feel this is unfair. We feel that we should be treated the same way as the other municipalities that were brought before. Njeru municipality should be included in the schedule of 2015.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, there was a slight lapse in the procedure. The amendment to the motion was proposed; I need to put the question to the amendment. Let me do this and then I will get back to you. I now put the question that the amendment to the minister's motion be in the terms proposed by the minister.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Semujju Nganda (Kyadondo East): Mr Speaker, thank you very much. I will specifically speak about Kira municipality. I even consulted the minister and he said that he would leave Kira municipality the way it had been proposed by the district council. In fact, the minister even today said municipalities are created by districts.

The resolution from Wakiso district is to the effect that we create Kira municipality with a population of 310,000. The motion of the minister now changes what he had earlier proposed and he is adding Nangabo sub-county, which was not part of the resolution from the district. It was not part of the resolution of the minister which he brought.

Mwesige: Mr speaker, I wish to apologise to my colleague, Hon. Semujju Nganda. It is true that the resolution of Wakiso District Council left Nangabo out of Kira Municipal Council. When I had a discussion with him, I had promised to amend the composition of that municipal council but I inadvertently omitted that amendment. I now move that Nangabo Division be deleted from the divisions that constitute Kira municipality.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, it remains where it was; it was not floating anywhere. An amendment has been proposed in respect of annex No.1 in paragraph No.2 by deletion of Nangabo Division from the list of the divisions that will constitute Kira municipality. I now put the question to that amendment.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County): Mr speaker, in regard to Nansana municipality, the minister is proposing Nansana Division, Nabweru Division, Gombe Division and Busukuma Division. Virtually what the minister is doing in this regard is to lift the whole Kyadondo North Constituency and rename it a municipality, which is not okay.

Mr speaker, if you want fairness and equity, if anybody looked at the vast nature of this constituency and its composition, you will know that Busukuma is a rural sub county of this constituency - (interjection) - I know it. I am on a procedural point. When you compare Gombe, which is a sub county also within that constituency, it is another vast sub county on its own.

In Buganda and in central region, I see an attempt to deny representation. We were fairly cheated when you created counties. Buganda got the least number of counties. In central region in constituencies like this one, you have the biggest number of -

Oulanyah: Honourable members, we need to stay in the House, please. Let us finish the business before us, honourable members.

Kivumbi: Mr speaker, when you look at the population of these constituencies, they are not like mine which is rural. My constituency is about 40,000 voters. This constituency, which I know from width to length, is almost going to over 150 voters. My humble appeal to the minister is that Nansana Town Council and Nabweru be made municipalities - (interjection) - Yes, Nansana Town Council, and I am making a case for it.

Mr speaker, I am making a very passionate case that Nansana Town Council and Nabweru deserve to be municipalities on their own. You all know them very well because you have lived in Kampala. Gombe and Busukuma can stay part of the rural part of Kyadondo North constituency. This will ensure equity and fairness. I know there could be political interests of individual members of parliament in this area but also the district council resolution is to this effect. Therefore, honourable minister, I beg you passionately to create this municipality to serve a better purpose. I thank you.

Mwesige: Mr speaker, when we were discussing these municipalities with Wakiso, I personally sat with the members of the district council of Wakiso. I had a very long meeting with them. So, what constitutes the proposed municipalities in this resolution is what the district council of Wakiso agreed to and I have the minutes in my office. I do not just have the minutes but I also attended this meeting and the member of parliament for that area is here to testify because I have interacted with him several times.

Mr speaker, I would like to correct the wrong impression created by Hon Muwanga Kivumbi that Buganda has got a raw deal in all this. That is false and unacceptable because Wakiso district alone has given birth to three municipalities and Wakiso is in Buganda. We are creating a new municipality out of Mityana and it is in Buganda. Mubende municipality is a new constituency in Buganda. Lugazi municipality is a new constituency in Buganda and Njeru municipality is a new constituency in Buganda too. I could go on and on.

John Ken Lukyamuzi (Rubaga South): Mr speaker, I stand on a point of procedure regarding what we are talking about now. You know very well that under Article 2 of the Constitution of Uganda, the Constitution is supreme and binds all of us and other organs of the state.

Mr speaker, under Article 178, it is stated that in Buganda, Mengo municipality is deemed to be a municipality of Buganda. Why have you isolated that constitutional undertaking, which was supposed to have been approved effective from July 2006? What explanation can you give to the people of Buganda that Mengo municipality is not a municipality of Buganda? Can you isolate Buganda when you are talking about Uganda? Be serious! This is a constitutional matter.

Mwesige: Well, Hon Ken-Lukyamuzi represents a constituency in Buganda kingdom and he knows very well that the reason we do not have the regional government of Buganda is because - (interjection) - You cannot talk about Mengo municipality in isolation of a Buganda regional government. I am talking about the Constitution. Mengo municipality was created by the Constitution to be the headquarters of Buganda regional government. So you cannot have Mengo municipality without Buganda regional government.

Hon Ken-Lukyamuzi knows very well the reasons why up to now the Buganda regional government has not been operationalized; the people who demanded for it eventually disowned it. So the problem is not in this parliament, the problem is not with government; the problem is at Mengo.

Brenda Nabukenya (Luweero Woman MP): Thank you, Mr speaker. I rise on a point of procedure. In 2013, the people of Luweero applied for a municipality and the ministry of Local Government received the application. I am also in possession of a document, a minute or proposal, which was sent to the ministry from the Luweero town council. A group from the ministry even went to Luweero to carry out the necessary research and evaluation to determine the details of Luweero town council.

I am very surprised today that the honourable minister presented municipalities to be approved without Luweero and yet the NRM government has been continuously saying that Luweero is the hub for them. I have seen several districts that are getting municipalities and yet they cannot even measure up to the development in Luweero district.

I would like to ask, is the minister procedurally right to come and present municipalities to this House without being courteous enough to first write to the people of Luweero to tell them that their area could not qualify? I would also like to lay on the Table this proposal, which was minuted by the town council, so that - maybe I can read it.

Oulanyah: Honourable member, that was not a procedural point. Honourable minister, a matter has been raised about Luweero.

Mwesige: Well, I wish the honourable member had brought those documents to me last month because then Luweero would have been part of the municipalities to be considered. Unfortunately, I have no resolutions on my desk from Luweero. I was, therefore, unable to move a motion to create Luweero municipality without a resolution from Luweero district council. If Luweero passed a resolution, that resolution is to the knowledge of the MP; it is not to my knowledge. However, I will receive it today and consider it next time.

Bakka Mugabi (Bukooli North): Mr speaker, considering the mood in the House and after having due consideration of the motion on the floor - the minister has answered all the necessary questions thereto and members have debated and the mood is such that we proceed to vote on the motion. I therefore move a motion that this honourable House moves to vote on the creation of new municipalities.

Oulanyah: You move that the question be put; is that what you are saying?

Bakka: I move that the question be put, Mr speaker.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, I am required by the rules to determine the fate of that motion first - whether the question should be put. I will put the question to the motion that the question be put.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Honourable members, I now proceed to put the question on the motion, as amended. The amended motion is for a resolution of parliament moved under Section 7 (2a) of the Local Governments Act providing for creation of new municipalities. I will go one by one, and this time for the avoidance of doubt I will read the constitutions of the respective municipalities.

I will now put the question for Nansana municipality in Wakiso district to comprise of Nansana Division, Nabweru Division, Gombe Division and Busukuma Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I put the question for Kira municipality in Wakiso district to be constituted of Kira Division, Namugongo Division and Bweyogerere Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I put the question for Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality in Wakiso district to be constituted of Seguku Division, Bunamwaya Division and Ndejje Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Odonga Otto (Aruu County): Mr speaker, I am sorry to raise this point of procedure during voting, but I have a letter from the permanent secretary, which is saying that the Government is not in position to fund the creation of these municipalities. It has been copied to the Rt Hon prime minister, the minister of Finance, the minister of Local Government and the minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

The procedural point I am therefore raising is: should we be able to proceed without a certificate of financial implications when we have a letter from the permanent secretary, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, stating clearly that creation of new municipalities is not affordable to government? I beg to lay this document on the Table.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, the motion is by government and it is up to government to handle it. I put the question for Kisoro municipality to consist of Central Division, Northern Division and Southern Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I put the question for Mityana municipality in Mityana district to be constituted of Central Division, Ttamu Division and Busimbi Division. I put the question to that motion.

Oulanyah: I put the question for Kitgum municipality in Kitgum District to be constituted of Pager Division, Central Division and Pandwong Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Koboko municipality in Koboko district to be constituted of North Division, South Division and West Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Mubende municipality in Mubende district to be constituted of East Division, South Division and West Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Kumi municipality to be constituted of South Division and North Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Lugazi municipality in Buikwe district to be comprised of Central Division, Kawolo Division and Najjembe Division. I put the question.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Kamuli municipality to be constituted of North Division and South Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Kapchorwa municipality in Kapchorwa district to be constituted of East Division, Central Division and West Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I now put the question that this first set of 12 municipalities comes into effect on 1 July 2015.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I will now go to municipalities to come into effect on 1 July 2016. I put the question for Ibanda municipality in Ibanda district to be constituted of Bufunda Division, Kagongo Division and Bisheshe Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I put the question for Njeru municipality to be constituted of Njeru Division, Nyenga Division and Wakisi Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Apac municipality -

Tonny Ayoo (Kwania County): Mr speaker, when the district council made a resolution, Apac municipality was supposed to have four divisions - Agulu, Akere, Arocha and Atik. However, on this list, I see only three divisions with Atik left out. I want to know from the minister whether it was a typing error or something else.

Mr speaker, I beg to propose that Atik Division be included among the divisions in Apac municipality as per the district council resolution. I beg to move.

Mwesige: Mr Speaker, I am sorry this was an error. What the Member of Parliament is presenting is what came from the district council. My technical committee had looked at the financial capacity and that is why they had downsized the number of divisions. However, the law is clear; we have got to follow what the district council has said. So, I will support his amendment.

Oulanyah: The amendment is to include Atik. Honourable members, I now put the question for Apac municipality consisting of Agulu Division, Akere Division, Arocha Division and Atik Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: I put the question for Nebbi municipality consisting of Tata Division, Central Division and Abindu Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Bugiri municipality consisting of Eastern Division and Western Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Sheema municipality consisting of Kagango Division, Kabwohe Division, Kashozi Division and Sheema Central Division. I put the question to that motion.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Kotido municipality consisting of North Division and South Division. I put the question to that motion -

Margaret Aleper (Kotido Woman MP): Thank you, Mr speaker. I just want to remind the minister that when the resolution by the district council of Kotido was presented to the ministry, there were four divisions but here we have only two. This can be confirmed by the technical persons from the ministry. The one we have here is north and south divisions and the ones missing are central and west divisions. My appeal is that they should be included. I therefore move that the two missing divisions be included in this amendment. Thank you.

Mwesige: Yes, Mr speaker, I agree to the addition of west and central divisions.

Oulanyah: Honourable members, I now put the question that Kotido municipality consisting of North Division, South Division, Central Division and West Division be created.

(Question put and agreed to.)

Oulanyah: Thank you. Honourable members, the pending business of the House, which is on the Order Paper, will be handled when we resume after this recess.

Honourable members, it is my duty now to wish all of you the best in the things you are going to do during the recess. This House stands accordingly adjourned sine die until notice is given to you to come back.

(The House rose at 6.33 and adjourned sine die.)

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Observer

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.