The Basongora ethnic minority of Kasese has appealed for rationality following plans by local authorities to split the area into three other districts.
It is understood that Kasese District Council in 2018 passed a resolution to have the vast district subdivided into three other administrative units namely; Bwera, Kasese, and Rwenzori.
This controversial decision sparked a bitter contest between local leaders with some saying it could be a move by reactionary elements- those with selfish intentions to weaken the area.
Petitioning the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, Dr. Annet Kezaabu, who led the Basongora delegation, asserted that the natives were not consulted.
Kezaabu pointed out that the district comprises of majority Bakonzo living on the better mountainous side while people residing in the lowlands are still grappling with poor service delivery despite the proximity to the district headquarters.
She described the area occupied by Runyakitara speaking people as “the most poorly serviced part of Kasese district in terms of education infrastructure, health facilities, clean water and road network coverage.”
As such, Kezaabu retorted that it is only through the creation of their own Katwe District that such challenges shall be overpowered.
Furthermore, she argued that the creation of this administrative unit would solve their long-running feud with their Bakonzo neighbours.
“Creation of Katwe District is envisaged to bring an end to our grievances which include; deliberate marginalization, segregation, forced integration, deprivation of cultural and language expression by the majority Bakonzo,” Kezaabu explained.
“There is denial and exclusion from local government level employment opportunities by sectarian Kasese district leadership,” she added.
At the tail end, Kezaabu observed that while democracy is all about numbers, the views of the minority should not be forsaken for that sake.
Responding to the matter, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga promised to engage the Minister for Local Government Raphael Magyezi to this effect.
“These are real historical injustices and I think that Government needs to address them holistically. So I will invite the Minister for Local Government so that we can discuss this issue to find a way forward,” she said.