Parliament has deferred the creation of 15 new counties to three weeks time after legislators questioned the criteria used by Cabinet to have them approved and leaving out many others.
The decision followed a heated debate in the House presided over the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga where several members cited hidden motives by the Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magyezi in leaving out some counties some of which had applied earlier than those approved.
While moving the motion, the Minister noted that for effective administration and representation and the need to bring services closer to the People, the Local Government Councils of the different administrative units requested for the creation of new counties.
Magyezi said the decision taken by government was upon request by the people for creation of the Counties of Buyanja East, Ngariam, Agago West, Bukanga North, Bukimbiri, Nakaseke Central, Kiboga West, Buhweju West, Lamwo East, Bugangaizi South, Chekwi East, Buwekula South, Kwania North, West Budama Central and Kagoma North.
No sooner had the Minister justified the motion than several members rose up on several points of procedure, clarity and order while others requested that he withdraws the motion in case he didn’t table a full list of all the counties that have been requested.
Aruu County MP, Samuel Odonga Otto wondered whether Parliament was proceeding well to receive a motion for creation of new counties from the Minister who is also Igara West MP, yet he is a beneficiary of the new move.
Otto noted that it is unfortunate that Parliament is discussing creation of new administrative units instead of discussion suspension of the forthcoming 2021 general elections.
“I seek to understand the criteria that was used by the Minister in approving the said counties but left out many which have fulfilled all the requirements and had put in their request earlier,” said Mitooma District Woman MP, Jovah Kamateka.
However, Cecilia Ogwal requested the legislators to allow for the creation of the 15 counties on condition that the Minister provides a timeline for when the other requests shall be processed and tabled before Parliament for approval.
This request was not seconded by several legislators who kept on insisting that the motion be withdrawn until all the requests are tabled.
The stalemate in the house prompted the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to defer the debate to a later date within three weeks time to allow the minister to make consultations on other requests for new counties.