Recently, the police thwarted efforts by two Members of Parliament to demonstrate against what they called ‘lies by the government’.
According to police, the two MPs: Robinah Nabbanja and Barnabas Tinkasimiire were demonstrating against government’s failure to accord Kagadi a district status, something reportedly promised by President Yoweri Museveni in 2011.
Currently, Uganda is one of the countries that have one of the highest numbers of districts in Africa, and politicians here have overtime been arguing that the fracturing of bigger local government and administrative units into smaller ones helps bring services closer to the people.
But while that may be true, the effectiveness of such an initiative should be followed by informed debate, taking into account the obtaining administrative and financial circumstances and implications.
For instance, pursuing such an initiative like the creation of more districts while at the same time failing to expound on the impoverished national resource purse will instead impact negatively on the delivery of services, since the quality delivered will be poor, the subject of contestation.
It is important to note that already, even with a bloated Parliament of close to 400 MPs, the delivery of services is still wanting because the ‘people’s representatives’ are not the ones who necessarily offer the services.
But that aside, when put in context the money to cater for all the people involved with the new administrative structure will provide a nightmare for those concerned with the budget process.
And, it seems that is one of the reasons that has prompted the Minister of Local Government to make a turnaround, citing financial constraints faced by the Exchequer.
This calls for the government to re-examine the demands for the creation of more districts.