Thursday, 23 August 2012
RWENZURURU KINGDOM, CONCERNED RESIDENTS WANT HALT IN SPLIT TALK
Following a Rwenzururu Kingdom memorandum calling for a halt in the proposed split of Kasese district into three administrative Units, the parliamentary committee on public service and local government has given the cultural institution and the district council one week to have harmonized their ideas.
The parliamentary committee on public service and local government was in Kasese to consult different groups of people in regard to the government presentation that included the district as one of those supposed to be split. The committee led by Kalungu district woman MP Ms. Florence Kintu said they were consulting on the boundaries, names and headquarters of the proposed new districts of Bwera and Rwenzori.
“The committee is giving you (Rwenzururu Kingdom) one week to sit with the district council and agree on way forward in regard to the split of the district because we need to make a report on the floor of parliament soon”. Ms. Kintu said.
However, this was not greeted with sincere smiles by the Kingdom officials led by Acting Premier Ms. Loice Biira Bwambale who insisted that grass root consultations are needed in regard to having a participatory decision.
“We have heard you madam chairperson but we needed two weeks if we were t consult to grass root level through our cultural structures. We have also to report back to the Omusinga (King) on what we have shared with this committee”. The prime minister said during a meeting held in Virina Gardens in Kasese town.
In their memorandum, the Rwenzururu Kingdom revealed that there were no thorough consultations at grass root level as claimed in the district council resolution of October 25, 2010 to have the district split.
The Prime Minister while presenting the memorandum asked parliament to halt the process of the split so that there is room for dialogue to accommodate the different ethnical diversities in a genuine decision.
Ms. Bwambale said the Kingdom’s House of Representatives sitting on July 25, instead asks the government to first consider the revamping of a number of redundant assets like Kilembe Mines, Katwe salt factory and the Railway line among others.
The Kingdom also fears that the cultural attachments to the greater Kasese district may be tempered with if there is any rushed split of the district without considering each aspect.
In a related development, a group of people identified as concerned citizens of Kasese told the parliamentary committee that there was no need to split the district even when government has failed to fulfill the long overdue promises.
In a petition presented to the committee, the concerned citizens who claim to have been drawn from across the district identified the elevation of Kasese airstrip to an international airport status, the revamping of Kilembe Mines and the Uganda Railway line as source of massive employment.
The petition reads in part “we are requesting your visionary committee to instead remind the government to fulfill it’s promises as listed below; the alleviation of Kasese airfield to international standards, the establishment of industries in the industrial area acquired by government, the re-construction of the Railway Line, renovations of Katwe salt industry, National Union of Youth Organisation and Kilembe Mines”.
The concerned residents led by Mr. Milton Bwambale Bikopo urge that if the redundant industries mentioned above are worked upon by the government, there would be more jobs created than those political jobs that are seen from the word go in the anticipated split.
Meanwhile, the Forum for Democratic Change leadership in Kasese that is also opposed to the split has criticized the manner in which the Mps conducted consultations in the area. FDC general secretary Mr. Johnson Kamalha told a press conference that the MPs look to have connived with the agitators on arrival in the district.
Mr. Kamalha who claims FDC was denied audience by the MPs said Virina gardens hotel where a series of meetings were held belongs to Mr. Rauben Mwahulhwa the chairman of the people who petitioned parliament calling for the split, the reason the committee came for consolations.
“There is reason to think that the committee of parliament is biased because of the way they have conducted business. They decided to have meetings in a hotel of Mr. Mwahulhwa who leads a section of people agitating for the split. FDC will also petition parliament on the matter to give our reasoning to why the district is not yet ready for the split”.
Ms. Florence Kintu, said the committee will integrate all the views and petitions from the different groups of people in Kasese while making a final report to present on the floor of parliament. END.