EDITORâ€”I wish to comment on Edward Kumakechâ€™s Letter of December 8 in which he expressed great happiness that President Yoweri Museveni had granted Okoro district, the former Okoro county in west nile, a district status. Yes, we must give credit where it is due.
The people of Okoro must thank the President for this new status. But economically, splitting former districts into minute units is not growth and development as Kumakech believes.
He should agree with me that Okoroâ€™s soils, plentiful rainfall, tea growing and electricity projects existed before as he mentions in his letter. And given the fact that Okoro did not stand alone but also as part of another district, this means that if Okoro was to develop, it would have or would be under its former district. But now, amidst lack of funds in the local government ministry, suspension of graduated tax and failure of the finance ministry to compensate the local governments, how do you anticipate growth and development in creating many districts?
It is true many job opportunities come with new districts, but where do we get money to pay them when the already existing ones have failed to pay? In fact if you compare the total land area of Uganda (241,139sq km) and Nigeria (923800 sq km), you must wonder why Uganda has approximately the same number of parliamentarians as Nigeria. Uganda, with a population of 30 million people has 332 MPs while Nigeria with a population of over 120 million people has only 360 House representatives (equivalent of MPs in Uganda).
This demonstrates how Uganda spends a lot, nay, too much, on salaries and public administration. Ironically, more districts are being created! If that is not recklessness, tell me what it is! I am not a good economist but let the finance minister explain the logic behind the number of districts in relation to development. I hope he has an answer.
More districts mean more misery