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Slow Integration of New Parishes into Masaka City Irks Leaders :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Slow Integration of New Parishes into Masaka City Irks Leaders

The parish leaders indicated that their areas are still lagging way behind in terms of social services compared to other wards in the city.

Audio 2

Leaders in parishes that were annexed to Masaka City are concerned by the slow pace of being integrated into the new urban local government.

In July 2020, the former Masaka Municipal Council expanded its boundaries and annexed parishes from the neighboring districts of Kalungu and Lwengo, in fulfillment of some of the preconditions for its elevation to city status. 

In Kalungu district, the city annexed Kibisi and Kasanje parishes that were added onto Nyendo-Mukungwe division, while Ssenya and Kiteredde parishes formally in Lwengo district were annexed to be part of the areas making up Kimanya-Kabonera division.

But the leaders from the new parishes say that they are yet to benefit from being part of the city, two years after their areas were annexed. 

In their presentation during the Nyendo-Mukungwe division budget conference on Tuesday, the leaders indicated that their areas are still lagging way behind in terms of social services compared to other wards in the city.

George Lubega, the Chairperson of Kasanje Parish says given their geographical location at the edges of Masaka city, his areas are being disadvantaged in terms of service delivery including the basics like clean water and electricity. 
According to Lubega, none of the seven villages in the parish is connected to the clean water supply system, and the majority of the homesteads have no access to electricity, which he says would be the first benefit for communities that joined an urban council.

Lubega says that they have not yet seen any deliberate efforts by the City administration to address the imbalances in service delivery in the new parishes yet they are already contributing to the local revenue collections.

(Luganda Byte)  //Cue in: “omuluka kasanje….   

  Cue out; ……tuvedde eri wala.”//  

Zainab Nambalirwa, the Vice Chairperson for Kibisi Parish also indicates that some of the residents are already regretting being annexed to the City because they have been subjected to new taxes yet they are yet to get the actual services in their areas.

She has challenged the Masaka City administration to commit a reasonable percentage of the next financial year’s budget to provide services in the parishes that were recently annexed to the city such that they can also measure up to the standards of other areas of the urban local government.  

“These communities are in the city just by name, yet in actual realities, they are not. We also yearn to have improved road infrastructure connecting through the villages and other social amenities extended such that we can also feel the new status which accorded to us,” she observed. 

Michael Mulindwa Nnakumusana, the Chairperson for Nyendo-Mukungwe City Division indicates that the communities in the new parishes have a long list of challenges that the city could not address in a short period with its limited budget allocation.  

He explains that despite expanding its boundaries and eventually the mandate, the city is still operating on the budget of the former Municipal Council, which curtails its ability to accomplish all the tasks that await the urban council. 

//Cue in: “n’emiruka emirala…..  

Cue out; ….mu Masaka City.”// 

Apparently, Masaka City is operating with a budget of 41.21 billion shillings which is largely funded by central government transfers.  

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