Uganda: Nakasongola Defies Govt, Votes to Create New Sub-County

Local Government minister Raphael Magyezi has dismissed as irrelevant, wastage of time and resources a decision by Nakasongola District council to create a new sub-county.

He was reacting to a decision by the district council that on May 11 voted to create a new sub-county of Wajala, carving it out of Wabinyonyi and Lwampanga sub-counties.

"The action by Nakasongola leaders is wastage of time and resources. The motion passed creating a new sub-county has no bearing. Nakasongola should instead focus on development projects as they strategise for a city status to be rolled out in 2023," Mr Magyezi said.

While government suspended the creation of new administrative units and local governments on April 9, the Nakasongola District authorities have defied the directive.

Mr Samuel Tingira, the Nakasongola District Council vice chairperson, after laying the motion in support of the creation of Wajala Sub-county, said the new demand is in the interest of the people of Nakasongola.

"The new Wajala Sub-county will comprise Nakasongola Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) Airfield, and Kikoiro, Kibuye, among other areas that will be carved from the sub-counties of Wabinyonyi and Lwampanga. Creation of the new Sub-county is in the interest of our people within the mentioned areas," Mr Tingira said.

He added: "We are already aware about the circular originating from the Ministry of Local Government that suspended the creation of new administrative units and local governments, but the circular is not binding and is subject to adjustment by authorities in government."

Mr Bernard Bogere, the district councillor for Wabinyonyi Sub-county, backed the move saying: "I believe nobody can sue the district council for passing the motion that is in the interest of the people. The very directives have been passed in recent years, but we saw several local governments being created when the directives were in place years back. The creation of Wajala Sub-county is out of urgency for better service delivery."

Earlier, the district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Felix Majeme, objected to the move by council, citing the April 9 circular from Ministry of Local Government.

"It is true that the district council is mandated to initiate the process of the creation of a new local government, including any new administrative unit as deemed necessary, but we have a directive from government. It would be very defiant for a district council that has been briefed about a government directive to act contrary. I beg to advise that we put on hold the motion as we consult. We do not have to rush on a matter that government has already issued a directive," Mr Majeme said.

In an interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Bernard Kamoga, one of the district councillors, said: "Several other district councillors argued that the same government that passes the laws has on several occasions broken its own guidelines. We shall not wait to see other areas benefiting from government services before we act. We have passed the motion and government will guide if they find our decision not right. "

Directive

In the April 9 circular, Mr Magyezi, citing Section 7(10) and Section 95 of the Local Government Act, wrote: "I am suspending the creation of new villages, parishes/wards, sub-counties, town councils, municipal divisions, municipalities, city divisions, cities and districts with effect from April 9. Processes for split, merger or alteration of boundaries of local governments and administrative units should be halted until further notice."

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