Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom has asked the central government to halt the operationalization of Kikuube district which is supposed to be curved out of Hoima district. Kikuube is one of the 25 new districts approved by parliament in 2015 and is set to be operational effective July 1, 2018. The new district supposed to take the boundaries of Buhaguzi County has of late received opposition from a section of politicians in Hoima district.
Kikuube is one of the 25 new districts approved by parliament in 2015 and is set to be operational effective July 1, 2018.
The new district supposed to take the boundaries of Buhaguzi County has of late received opposition from a section of politicians in Hoima district. The politicians argue that it is likely to deprive the mother district of the key natural resources like oil wells, the most productive part of Lake Albert and forest reserves.
The politicians led by James Mugenyi Mulindambura, the secretary for education and health in Hoima district, are demanding for the revisiting of the boundaries of the new district before it becomes operational.
In 2010, the Hoima District Council overwhelmingly approved the creation of Kikuube district, a move they said was to improve governance and service delivery and to create more jobs.
Mugenyi Mulindambura, then representing Kigorobya Sub County, was among the minority voices that opposed the creation of the district. The then Hoima district speaker, Yunus Mugabe, however ruled the dissenting voices out of order.
Now, Bunyoro-Kitara Prime Minister Norman Lukumu says the cultural institution stands with those who want the new district halted. Lukumu explains that the government should instead expedite plans to elevate Hoima Municipality to a city status saying it is more viable.
Speaking on Tuesday in an interview with URN, Lukumu said that looking at the economic contributions by the two administrative units; the city is more important than the district because it creates more jobs, provides more services and also commands international recognition.
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Hoima Oil City has been earmarked in the Uganda Vision 2040 as one of the strategic cities that is expected to flourish from the Oil and Gas sector boom and also from the planned industrial park. Other towns proposed for regional cities include Mbarara, Arua, Gulu, Fort Portal and Jinja.
Lukumu has also hinted on the city being a more unifying factor for the indigenous Banyoro and the Abafuruki - a local term used to describe non-Banyoro who have settled in the area - other than a district which many say promotes tribalism.
He says that the lessons learnt from the July 2016 elections in the new districts of Kagadi and Kakumiro that were curved out of Kibaale showed that tribalism will always arise when people are fighting for political positions something that overshadows service delivery.
Lukumu says that the kingdom has already expressed her concerns in writing to the government.
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This comes just a day after a group of politicians and other opinion leaders in Hoima petitioned Henry Muganwa Kajura, the former 1st Deputy Prime Minister asking for his intervention in the matters concerning Kikuube district.
On Monday, Kajura chaired a heated meeting held at Kitara Secondary School in Hoima town where the participants asked him to engage the government by asking it to prioritise the city status instead of a new district.
David Maxwell Kaboyo, the general secretary of National Resistance Movement (NRM) executive committee for Hoima district, said during the meeting that splitting the entire Buhaguzi County from the mother district makes no sense because Hoima will be no more when other parts are taken up by the proposed city.
A similar scenario is playing out in Kabarole district after the break away of Bunyangabu County to become a new district this year. There is fear that the proposed Fort Portal city could eat up much of Burahya County leaving the mother district in a nonviable position.
Hoima district comprises of Buhaguzi County, Bugahya County and Hoima Municipality, the same position Kabarole was in before Bunyangabu broke away.
In his response, Kajura told the meeting that there is need for more consultations between the proponents of Kikuube district and those who are against it to get a harmonised position that will be sent to the government for action.