By Odaka Asuman
I have stood strongly against further division of Tororo district into smaller entities because it neither makes no economic sense nor long term political benefit.
Tororo was originally composed of five counties four of which have become separate districts. We had Bugwere County with its headquarters in Palisa (it has also since produced many districts), Samya-Bugwe with its headquarters in Masafi; this became Busia district.
We had Bunyole with its headquarters in Bisolwe; this became Butaleja district, Budama which was finally divided into West Budama and East Budama. West Budama remained with Kisoko as its headquarters. East Budama eventually became Tororo County with its headquarters in Mukuju and finally Tororo Municipality. The last three (West Budama, Tororo County and Tororo Municipality) remained as Tororo district.
All those curved out districts went with on one narrative, “moving services to the people”. In my own opinion, the services referred to include health services, schools, roads, safe piped water, and electricity among others.
But what is prevailing is completely different. In which case therefore, asking for a district for services are no longer a valid narrative. Intelligent people would now begin thinking differently.
For the case of what is remained of Tororo, the only viable solution is to gazette entire Tororo district into an industrial metropolitan city. In this way the five constituencies shall become city divisions with semi-autonomous powers of budget.
This proposal is founded of many facts, many of which are technical but I’ll restrict myself to few;
Economically, Tororo is practically the richest district in Uganda.
(a) According to Mr. M7 it has the entire mineral that there are except one.
(b) Malaba boarder contributes about 65% of all the boarder revenue collections collected in Uganda.
(c) Its industrial capability overtaking Jinja in terms of industrial preferred destinations, has the biggest solar plant in Africa, 6 cement industries, Dongsong Ghungsu conglomerates of five industries. Mukwano industries, etcetera.
In terms of transport network, its accessible by railways system, great north roads, water transport at Majanji port, the Amin gazetted cargo airport plan and proximity to the outside market.
These are in fact the necessary conditions for functioning industrial city. These infrastructures are very nice but are only useful in a united and upgraded Tororo, any further division into, smaller entities only affects our development and gives the mafias easy ways to manipulate the locals.
Administratively, this arrangement works towards inclusivity in a decentralized system. Remember the quarrel in the district has been about perceived exclusivity. Therefore making each constituency a division with its mayor, budget, workforce, policies only increases opportunities for us all.
In fact under this arrangement those who wish would have their division divided into more constituencies which would serve their political vendettas yet still taping from the central basket. In other words we shall have created two way benefits for Tororo city.
The system will also separate the technical from the political decision makers. Part of the failures has been politicians taking major decision in the implementation of some programs leaving some people complaining of marginalization. The metropolitan city framework has an inbuilt capability to manage that problem.
As leaders we must guide our people, inspire and motivate them. Unfortunately leadership in Tororo is a non thinking lot, unable to inspire, not able to innovate, can’t motivate to aspire for greater things.
Instead they have organized themselves into a mafia like club looting every space or piece of land available while funding divisive projects which constantly pre-occupy our people away from work. They have also constructed a formidable propaganda capability that makes it too risky for any reasonable voice to emerge.
This crisis must inspire us to think great in ways that can keep our people not only together but also better.
Conclusively, this has been my humble position all along and I intend to continue persuading you the readers to this position. I’m happy Mr. Opio John the Mayor of Tororo Municipality is a converted soul.
#Tororo-Metropolitan-Industrial-City is the answer
The writer is former MP candidate Tororo Municipality
Tel. + (256)753195384