Kasese District is again at the centre of controversy.
This time, it is the proposed creation of four more local governments out of the district that was created in 1974.
On Tuesday, the Bwesumbu Sub-county councillor, Mr Wilson Mbathulhawo (FDC), moved the motion that had been proceeded with a lot of public outcry from both the proponents and those opposed. The suggested districts are; retaining the mother Kasese, Bwera, Nyamugasani and Mubuku.
The number of Members of Parliament from Kasese area could increase from six to 16 as the proponents hint on creating more counties in the new districts.
While tabling the motion amid tight security, Mr Mbathulhagho, who until July, was opposed to the split, said the delay to create other local governments out of Kasese had deprived the people of service delivery.
Mr Mbathulhawo in his motion said the creation of new districts would lead to services such as district hospitals, improved roads coverage with each district having its own road unit, send more students to university on district quota system and government sponsorship, and create more jobs in the new administrative units.
“Gone are the days when people would walk for long miles to access services. Mr Speaker sir, you are aware that Kasese District is now the only remaining largest district in western Uganda with a population of 750,000 people being served at one central point and being looked at in the same way as the other small districts,” Mr Mbathulhawo said in his motion.
“I want to assure you that our delayed split of this district has also caused a delay in the delivery of services to our people as well as deprived us of other opportunities as a district alongside equitable service delivery,” he said.
However, those opposed to the district split urge that it is not long time ago since the same council passed a resolution to write to the Ministry of Local Government to withdraw the request made in 2010 after the then National Resistance Movement dominated council passed a motion seeking the creation of two new districts; Rwenzori and Bwera.
They also urge that, those behind the idea of splitting the district are politicians who are eying top political positions like LC 5 chairperson and parliamentary sits once the new districts and counties are created.
“This is just greed by those politicians because they only look at political jobs ahead of 2021 elections. Kasese cannot be split just like that because if there are jobs that are being targeted, let government construct the long awaited Kasese International Airport, find a suitable investor to revive copper mining at Kilembe and revive the salt factory because these will create more jobs than those at districts,” said Mr Joackin Bwambale, a boda boda rider in Kasese Town.
Another person on tension is Kasese FDC chairman, Mr Saulo Maate.
His party, opposed the 2010 district split proposal on grounds that it was engineered by the then LC 5 chairperson, the Rev Can Julius Kithaghenda, barely two months after losing in the NRM primary elections. They also reasoned that it was a plan by the NRM to destabilise the Opposition stronghold.
At the moment, Mr Maate, who has seen four of the 32 FDC councillors team up with nearly all the 26 of the NRM, said the split of the district is an unpopular view.
“These councillors are not fair, we cannot be sure of whether Kasese is at peace or not recalling the events of 2016 and they move to divide the people politically. Our people need to remain as one as we pursue peace and development,” Mr Maate said.