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Parliament Delays Creation of New Counties

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The proposed counties were approved by the cabinet on June 15. They include Buhweju West, Buwekula South, Kiboga West, Lamwo East, Bugangaizi South, Chekwi East, Mulanda, and Kwania North. On the same list is Buyanja East, Kagoma North, Ngariam, Agago West, Bukanga North, Bukimbiri and Nakaseke Central.
30 Jun 2020 21:04
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga chairing the afternoon plenary session. Photo by Parliament of Uganda.

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Parliament has delayed a decision on the creation of 15 new counties amidst procedural queries from legislators. 

The proposed counties were approved by the cabinet on June 15. They include Buhweju West, Buwekula South, Kiboga West, Lamwo East, Bugangaizi South, Chekwi East, Mulanda, and Kwania North. On the same list is Buyanja East, Kagoma North, Ngariam, Agago West, Bukanga North, Bukimbiri and Nakaseke Central. 

Today, Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi told parliament that up to 31 constituencies had applied to be split and pave way for the creation of new counties. However, his ministry made verifications and approved 15, depending on the urgency of the need for effective administration and representation.   

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But his motion attracted chaotic reactions from legislators questioning the rationale of creating the selected counties and leave behind others which had been pending over the years. Aruu South MP Odonga Otto questioned why the new counties were being handled partially.   

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Ngora Woman MP Jackeline Amongin and Mitooma Woman MP Jovah Kamateeka also questioned why the government has decided to be selective in the creation of new constituencies.   

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Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal tried to persuade her colleagues to receive the first 15 new counties in vain.

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Kinkizi West MP James Kaberuka objected to the plea, saying that a number of requests that were pending for a very long time have been ignored.  Magyezi appealed for more time to process all the proposed counties and bring a report to parliament at a later stage in vain. 

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The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga deferred the matter on the new counties giving Minister Magyezi three weeks to report back to the House with a harmonized position. “This House is not closing tomorrow. We are here.  I have seen the 2015 report and there are a lot of resolutions made... requesting for Constituencies,” she said. 

If approved by parliament, the number of legislators will increase in the 11th Parliament to include another 15 from the new counties. The Tenth Parliament currently has 457 MPs.   

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