By Matthew Okello
The Prime Minister of Uganda has once again failed to give a concrete answer on the Tororo County boundary question.
Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja was asked by the Tororo County South Member of Parliament, Fredrick Angura to remind President Museveni about the London trip report (Regarding the colonial boundaries in Tororo Municipality) arguing that the people of Tororo are anxious for the report.
Angura made the request on Saturday during the Bukedi Diocese Golden Jubilee Celebrations held at St. Peter’s Cathedral Tororo where the Prime Minister represented President Museveni as Chief Guest.
Whereas Nabanja was quick to respond to many other questions she completely kept quiet over MP Angura’s request.
In 2018, the government as sent a delegation to the UK for a colonial map to establish the actual boundary of Tororo Municipality following a long-standing conflict between the Iteso and Jopadhola communities over ownership.
The 10-member delegation led by the Minister of Lands, Ms Betty Amongi, went to London to verify with colonial maps the exact location of the municipality and its boundaries. They were sent on orders of President Museveni.
The delegation comprised three leaders from each of the rivalling communities and four officials from the Lands ministry, including minister Amongi.
Earlier, Ms Amongi had written to the leaders of the two cultural institutions to nominate representatives to the delegation travelling to London as part of the ongoing interventions to settle the Jopadhola-Iteso conflict over the boundary.
Tororo North County MP Annette Nyaketcho appealed to her counterparts in West Budama to abide by the findings.
“They should respect the outcome. I also call upon President Museveni to make a lasting decision when maps are verified,” she said.
However, Mr David Asyep, the information minister of Tieng Adhola cultural institution, said then that they only rely on history, not colonial boundaries.
“We are not bothered, but what we have observed is that the demand for a separate new district by the Iteso people has a hidden motive,” he claimed.
The tensions between the two communities started before independence in 1962 and led to the demarcations that separated West Budama for Jopadhola from Tororo County for Iteso.
The separation, however, escalated the tensions a few years ago after residents of Tororo County requested Mr Museveni for their own district.
The government agreed to grant Tororo County a district status but the location of Tororo Municipality remained a matter of contention as each group claimed it.
Meanwhile, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni applauded Bukedi diocese for collaborating with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government to champion the social economic transformation agenda in the country.
This was contained in his message read by the prime minister during the celebrations of Bukedi diocese Golden Jubilee at St. Peter’s cathedral Tororo.
The president said that the church has been at the the forefront of shaping morals and condemning negative forces in the community like corruption that has enabled the country come this far.
He also revealed that the church has been a reliable arm in supporting government to achieve social economic transformation hence he called upon the Christians to support the church relealize it’s goal of holistic uplift of the community both physically and materially.
The President also asked the church to mobilize Ugandans to continue emulating work an aspect he says many faithfuls have failed in yet the proceeds of work is enjoyed by everybody.
Bishop Bogere Egesa asked the practicing anglicans to reach out to those who have backslid. He made the call after the Archbishop of the church of Uganda Steven Samuel Kazimba asked Christians to be conscious of their sins and treat repentance as a key thing in restoring their walk with God.
Bishop Egesa says the church has unveiled the construction of a multi-billion golden jubilee house that is going to raise funds for the church and particularly to support the retired clergymen.
The President donated 80 million towards this project and the Prime minister contributed 20 million to kick start the construction of the golden jubilee house.
During the celebrations, the state minister for Defence Jacob Markson Oboth asked God to cloth the Bukedi sub region with a new strength, unity and name that will lead the sub region to prosperity and not a laughing stock.
The West Budama South legislator, Emmanuel Otaala asked the prime minister to fasten the process of elevating Tororo general hospital to a regional referral. This was quickly supported by the Tororo North county legislator Geoffrey Ekanya who said the elevation is long overdue.
Bunyole West legislator Geoffrey Mutiwa asked the government to consider revising their policy on wetland restoration arguing that getting residents out of Wetlands now would mean an economic outrage.
In her response, the minister says the government can’t compromise the wetland restoration program and asked those farming in wetland to carry out their last harvests and leave the wetland though the government is planning for a restoration package for the affected persons.
She promised to handle the issue of the regional referral hospital in Bukedi however she did not comment about the Tororo County boundary issue.