Parliament demands for report on Tororo Municipality boundaries

More than a year since a team of government officials flew to the United Kingdom (UK) for a colonial map to establish the actual boundary of Tororo Municipality; the government is still reluctant to make public its discoveries.

Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Betty Amongi had a tough time in Parlimaent as MPs demanded for a report on the Tororo district boundaries as a step towards resolving tribal tensions between the Japadhola and the Iteso in the district.

Amongi who led the government delegation told Parliament that since June last year when they travelled to London to study the colonial maps, they hadn’t got time to brief President Yoweri Museveni who sent them.

“Upon their return, the team reviewed the report and I asked the members to give me time to forward the preliminary report to the President for further guidance before we can bring it to this House,” said Amongi.

MPs could not take her explanation and demanded for a report to be presented to Parliament as soon as possible since any further delays would keep residents under pressure and continued disagreement, and thus there was need for urgent resolution of the border dispute.

“This issue of Tororo is a serious matter because it not only affects the people of Tororo but also the neighbours. Use your authority to tell the Lands Minister to present the map she got,” Budadiri West MP Nandala-Mafabi said.

Mukono South’s Johnson Muyanja told the House that the Committee on Local Government and Public Service had received two maps with reference to 1947 boundary locations, but it decided to get better information from the team that travelled to London.

The dispute over the boundaries stemmed from a government decision to grant Tororo County a district status but the location of Tororo Municipality remained a matter of contention as both the Iteso and the Japadhola claimed it.

In her ruling, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga directed Amongi  to present a report on the border dispute within two weeks.

“We should have respect for the people of Uganda. How can you keep people in suspense for 20 years? You went and collected maps that are not going to change. Why don’t you tell them what it is,” said Kadaga.

Kadaga alluded to Article 190 of the Constitution that gave Parliament the power of the High Court to compel Government on the production of documents.

“We are giving you a fortnight and if you fail, the Committee on Public Service will compel you to produce those documents,” Kadaga told Amongi

The impasse over land boundaries stems from 1998 tensions where residents of Tororo County requested President Yoweri Museveni through the then area MP, Paul Etyang, for their own district saying they were being marginalized