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Bukedi, Bugisu cultural leaders demand minister for their region

Bukedi and Bugisu cultural leaders call for Tororo to join Mbale as 2nd City in the sub-region

Tororo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Prime Ministers of cultural institutions from the Bukedi and Bugisu sub-region have called on Government to create a ministry to help check growing poverty in the areas they represent in Eastern Uganda.

In a joint memorandum to President Yoweri Museveni, they also called for an additional city in the Bukedi and Bugisu sub-regions to help spur development of the area, that is strategically placed at the border with Kenya.

Five Prime Ministers from the nzu Ya Masaaba, Obwa Ikumbania Bwa Bugwere, Tieng Adhola, Owa Sehulu Wa Bunyole and Bugwe Kingdom after a day-long meeting in Tororo this week, noted in a joint memorandum that Bukedi Sub-region has been rated as the poorest sub-region in Uganda according to the latest UNICEF Report, with poverty levels for Bukedi at (78%), followed by Karamoja (76%).

“Being the poorest Sub-region in Uganda yet endowed with a lot of natural resources and manpower, Bukedi should be provided with a Ministry for Bukedi Affairs. We hope this Ministry will look critically and extensively into the plight of Bukedi and steer the recovery of the Sub-region,” the Prime Ministers wrote in their memorandum on March 18, 2021.

Bukedi initially constituted Budama, Samia Bugwe, Bugisu, Bugwere and Bunyole. In 1968, the administrative headquarters of Bukedi which was originally in Mbale was transferred to Tororo, but a link between leaders of the two regions has remained, with cultural leaders regularly visiting each other, while maintaining an active Forum of Cultural Institutions Prime Ministers for the Bukedi, Bugisu Sub-regions.

“We acknowledge and respect our historical linkages with Bugisu. Unfortunately we still share many negative indices, as shown in the poverty profile of, 2020,” the Jago (Prime Minister ) of the Tieng Adhola  Obbo Richard Josel remarked at the end of the meeting at Rock Classic.

Prime Ministers from the Bukedi and Bugisi sub-region

Proposed Minister for Bukedi affairs

In a statement after the meeting, they said strong desire to restore the past glory of Bukedi, which was one of the first districts in Uganda.

” We are conscious that Bukedi after separation from Bugisu got subdivided into the districts of; Busia, Butebo, Pallisa, Tororo, Budaka, Butaleja and Kibuku. None of these districts is doing well,” they said in the joint memorandum to President Museveni.

The meeting was attended by Obbo Richard Josel, Tieng Adhola (Chairperson); Mugulusi Moses Joel, Obwa Ikumbania Bwa Bugwere (Vice Chairperson); Lyadda Apollo, Owa Sehulu Wa Bunyole (Secretary); Rev. Wilson Waswa, Bugwe Kingdom (Member);  Nagimesi Wambedye Francis, Inzu Ya Masaaba (Member)

Here is the list of their proposals:

✳ “Being the poorest Sub-region in Uganda yet endowed with a lot of natural resources and manpower, Bukedi should be provided with a Ministry for Bukedi Affairs. We hope this Ministry will look critically and extensively into the plight of Bukedi and steer the recovery of the Sub-region.”

✳ “Call upon the Government of Uganda to grant Tororo Municipality a City status. Bukedi Sub-region is one of the original 13 regions of Uganda with its headquarters then in Tororo Municipality. All the original 12 regional headquarters of Uganda, apart from Bukedi, have now attained City status. Tororo City being a gateway to the Country from Kenya will be of a great strategic and economic importance to Uganda and the East African Community.

✳ “The Bukedi MP’s should continue to lobby Government to further develop the socio-economic infrastructures in the Sub-regions most importantly; roads, health facilities, education Institutions etc. Such facilities do not only benefit people of one district, but all the people in the region and beyond.”

✳ “The tarmacking of Tororo-Busolwe-Namutumba road, Tororo-Busia road, Busolwe-Kachonga road is long overdue. We would wish to request that no more time should be spent on issuing promises, but rather take necessary action.”

✳ “We observe that since the NRM Government came into power in 1986, only five people from the Bukedi Sub-region have been appointed as Cabinet Ministers namely; the late Rt. Hon. Ambassador Paul Orono Etyang, the late Dr. Stephen Malinga, Hon. Gabriel Opio, Hon. Aggrey Awor, and Hon. Ambassador Dorothy Hyuha. We therefore call upon the Government to always reward the region with at least a Cabinet Minister and at least a junior Minister from each indigenous community. We hope this will improve upon service delivery in Sub-region and rescue her from the pathetic situation it is embedded in.”

✳ “The Cultural Institutions of in Sub-regions should be adequately facilitated in terms of transport, accommodation (Palace construction), regular support to the Institutions and development projects. Currently the Cultural leaders in the region are doing badly and are heavily strained and yet we are key allies in rallying and mobilizing our people towards supporting the Government programs and policies.”

✳ “The members of Parliament from Sub-regions are hereby called upon to support one another whenever need arises. The MP’s are encouraged to expand their domain by acquiring leadership positions and participating in positive activities. The MP’s are therefore urged to support their colleagues who vie for higher national strategic positions. This is one of the ways of bringing social economic development to Bukedi/Bugisu Sub-regions.”

✳ “Last, but not least, we pledge to always work synergistically with the Government of Uganda to promote unity, peace and development of our people and Uganda as a whole.”

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