A DISPUTE has emerged between the Government and the Members of Parliament from northern Uganda over the implementation of the sh1.1 trillion Peace, Recovery and Development Plan project for region that has been ravaged by the war over the past two decade
According to the plan, the recovery programme will cover the northern region and part of the eastern region â€“ the districts of Bukedea, Pallisa, Budaka, Sironko, Mbale, Manafwa, Bududa, Soroti, Tororo, Butaleja and Busia.
Launched in 2007 by President Museveni, the programme was to become operational on July 1, 2008 and was to last three years from 2008 to 2011. The implementation of the programme will not start this July with the 2009/2010 financial year.
But the MPs from northern Uganda are opposed to the inclusion in the programme of the districts from the east. They want the programme to concentrate on areas that were directly affected by the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army insurgency. They also want funds to be managed separately from the other central government programmes. Furthermore, they want establishment of a monitoring structures for the programme.
The North MPsâ€™ opposition to the inclusion of the districts from eastern region is understandable. True, parts of the eastern Uganda were also affected by the insurgency. But the insurgency in northern Uganda, particularly Acholi and Lango, has been more prolonged and has caused more social and economic devastation.
This is reason North MPs feel their region should be accorded priority consideration. Before the implementation starts, it is important that Government carries out more consultations with the northern leaders to generate a consensus.
The Government ought to carefully consider the risks of extending coverage of the programme to a wider area. Are the resources available adequate?
Often well-intentioned government programmes fail due to poor planning. Government must ensure that the northern recovery programme is well planned and implemented.
North recovery programme must be well planned