There are clear reports that the Electoral Commission doesn’t have the funds for elections in the new districts, which is: “The districts that came into effect on July 1 are Bunyangabu carved out of Kabarole, Namisindwa carved out of Manafwa, Pakwach from Nebbi, Butebo from Pallisa, Rukiga from Kabale and Kyotera from Rakai” (Mwesigwa, 2017). So from these newly created districts does have new Members of Parliament, but does not have local leadership.
This proves the real value of the newly created districts, as the National Resistance Movement pays it no mind and only create it out of political will. Not creating districts for better governance or service delivery. The NRM and the President have been gerrymandering and paying off his people with making new districts. Why I say the NRM and the government doesn’t prioritize real local leadership, since the Electoral Commission had on the 27th June 2017 in a Press Release said this:
“The Electoral Commission has appointed Monday 3rd July 2017, as the date for election of Interim District Chairperson in each of the newly created districts of Bunyangabu, Butebo, Kyotera, Namisindwa, Pakwach and Rukiga” (Electoral Commisson, 27.06.2017). Still, that date has been postponed because of lacking funds. Therefore, the interim leadership in the new districts get to stay in power without polls.
It was apparently very easy to create districts and than find suitable people to run them. And done so without any scrutiny, since it is done times ahead before the General Election in 2016. This was done with several districts and made into new government organization. Something the NRM regime has done through the decades.
It is more evident now that the NRM doesn’t consider the chairpersons in the new districts. That the LCV chairmen got elected in in 112 districts. But with the new districts its become 118 districts. Since in the 9th Parliament by August 2015, this was totally 23 new districts, not only the ones active from 1st July 2017. Which now the state cannot afford to have local leadership election. Like the report in August 2015: “Last week, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, presented an amended motion seeking to create 23 new districts spread across four financial years. According to the motion, districts to be created effective July 1, 2016 include Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. Those to come into effect by July 1, 2017 include Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabu. On the other hand Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kasanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong and Kikuube districts will become effective July 1, 2018 while Obongi, Kazo, Rwampara, Kitagwenda, Madi Okollo, Kalenga and Kalaki come into effect from July 1, 2019” (The Observer, 2015). Because the State has been able to hold elections in the ones that came into affect in July 1st 2016. These we’re by-election that has gone in favor of the NRM. These being in Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. So it is now the 6 districts who the state cannot afford to have elections for. Which means that the Republic cannot afford having local government officials.
So the state has carved out new districts, but cannot afford them. It is special that during the next two years there will be 13 more districts. There is already launched 10 districts and only 4 districts has elected leadership through ballots. These are Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. The rest are without leadership. The 13 districts that is coming, you can wonder if the state can afford them as well? Even if it will be another fiscal year, but there still need extended efforts because the state has established and created districts, that needs offices and councils. These all needs provisions and budgetary discipline to make it happen.
Clearly, the service delivery and the need for the new districts isn’t there, it is all political motivated to pay off loyal NRM cronies and give them titles. That they can hire Resident District Commanders and others who will work directly for the President and the State House. The Electoral Commission has just to issue an election and get the secret ballots. That is the easy thing, but to build the new district and the government organization. The NRM knows this, but the initial factor is if they cannot hold elections there, can they pay for the structure?
It doesn’t seem likely that the districts are made for the best of the community or the government services. More for cronies loyal to the President. Peace.
Mwesigwa, Alon – ‘Crisis: No money to run new districts, conduct elections’ (07.07.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/53724-crisis-no-money-to-run-new-districts-conduct-elections.html
The Observer – ‘Uganda: Museveni Directs Parliament to Convene Over New Districts’ (25.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508260319.html