By Suzan Kabarwani
As Ugandans waited patiently for an appealing answer to teachers’ and doctors’ remuneration,puzzling news hit media waves so fast that government had tabled before parliament a motion that sought to create more 25 districts.
The revelation came as more debate was still raging among activists over the already existing 112 districts which have not only increased on the cost of public administration in different districts but also parliament where government is spending on 385 legislators .It is still not clear whether representation of the proposed districts will base on the existing MPs of the mother districts or each of the new districts will also be represented like any other district.
The later is the most likely and so bad that government will be strained further in terms of spending on public administration ,worsening further its ability to improve on the already ailing service delivery in most of the newly established districts.Recent reports indicate that in districts like Kiryandongo Hospital have not had a dental surgeon for over three years ,nearby Bulisa district which has not had a fully qualified medical officer to watch over health in the district for quite along time .This is the representative condition in most of the districts across the country.The same applies to the education sector where teachers have continued to strike demanding salary increment to be able to offer expected education services to their students.
Government has argued that establishing more districts will help in extending services closer to the people ,but it would be better if government first improved on the quality of services it is extending nearer to the people.Currently;Which services are being extended to the people? Even the anticipated elevation of of sub counties into districts would of course attract civil servants like teachers to work in those particular areas but an urgent need for both teachers and parents is that government should first develop the existing schools ,equip them with required scholastic materials ,well facilitated housing for teachers on top of good remuneration.
For Doctors stocking existing hospitals and health centers with drugs and staging there full time – well paid health workers would be good news to Ugandans to give hope of reduced infant and maternal mortality rates in the country .
Government should revise its response to pressure from a few political elite who look at advantages which come with setting up new districts ,for instance getting jobs as Councillors ,MPs and advocacies of Members of parliament who have failed to deliver but offer new districts.
If the motion is passed and new districts such as Omoro, Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Rubanda, Kyotera Kyadondo ,Nabilatuk,Bugweri, Kwania,Kasanda,Bunyangabu,Kwania among others come into assistance ,the only way Uganda can benefit directly is if these new districts are treated as production centers than administrative centers where government would reap increased revenue by staging agricultural projects in each of them than mare spending on administration.Let the Minister of Local government reconsider the creation of more other 25 districts and advise government accordingly.The creation of more districts in Uganda is not a direct solution to service delivery.