Uganda: Masaka Leaders Reject Plan to Keep Head Offices in City

BY WILSON KUTAMBA

The newly-elected chairperson for Masaka District and councillors have rejected a proposal to keep the district headquarters within the city, saying it is against the decentralisation policy.

This follows a proposal by the city clerk, Mr John Behangane, to maintain the district headquarters in its current location.

"I want the district headquarters to remain in the city because services can't be delivered where they are not," he said during an interview last week.

Mr Behangane added that technical and political teams can easily work together to develop the district.

However, Mr Aloysius Jjuko, the Bukakkata Sub-county chairperson, said keeping the district headquarters in the city will concentrate power and service delivery in one place.

"The district headquarters has to be in an area it intends to serve rather than leaving it in the city centre where our rural people can hardly access," he said.

Mr Andrew Lukyamuzi Batemyeto, the district chairperson -elect, said it is improper for the district headquarters to be in the city when the people it intends to serve are far away.

Guidelines issued by Local Government minister, Mr Raphael Magyezi, last year indicate that all tangible and intangible assets of districts, former municipal councils, division councils, annexed town councils, and sub-counties falling within the territorial boundaries of the city are supposed to be property of the city.

These include assets such as vacant land, markets, administrative buildings, stadia, bus parks, recreation centers, community halls, forest reserves, and landing sites.

Mr Magyezi said the cities shall take over all liabilities incurred by the district, municipal, and division councils.

His position left Masaka leaders undecided on where to put the district headquarters.

Some local leaders want the district headquarters to be hosted in Kyanamukaka Sub-county while others propose to take it to Bukakkatay .

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