By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The woman Member of Parliament of Sembabule district Mary Begumisa has run to Parliament to protect her from the looming vicious attacks coming from the State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties Hanifa Kawooya Bangirana.
Teary Begumisa informed the Parliament on Thursday that the Minister is doing whatever she can to create her district even without the consent of the local people and the ministry in charge of district demarcation (Ministry of Local government).
She revealed that also Minister Kawooya is the invisible hand behind land grabbing in her district and when she tried to intervene to save her electorates, the minister instead turned her guns against the lawmaker thus running to the August House for help.
She revealed that the minister is disguising herself under presidential powers to dissect counties, parishes and villages to the extent of even stopping the elected local council one chairperson from conducting their duties.
“The political chaos in my district regrettably is caused by Minister Kawooya again creating new districts in one of the counties. Just three sub-counties, she wants a whole district and has urged that it’s a presidential directive under Parish Development Model. Everybody is tensioned and she has demonized all of us before our people,” she said.
Begumisa said that the district’s local council powers from LC1 one to LC5 have been suppressed for a very long time but now it’s worse. She added that local people who have resisted the Minister’s directive have been arrested a move that has caused fear and terror in the whole of the district.
“Five people (Abas Mutesasira, Timothy Ssekyama, Mayanja and the rest) from Kafumu Matete sub-county have been arrested and held in the prison for three weeks without trial. We are asking for security from Parliament my people and myself. This is the second time I’m doing that, I have written a report to you Speaker but this is worse, I call upon the minister of lands to save us because the untouchable minister vacated people from the land,” she said.
While reacting to her plea, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among immediately called for an investigation into the matter and alluded that Minister Kawooya has no authority whatsoever to dissect districts.
“I want to guide this way, under articles 177 and 179 of the constitution and section 7 of the Local Government Act, these are instructions as far as the creation of districts and boundaries, there is no way a minister or anybody can create a district. Article 179 bestows the powers of creation or alteration of boundaries to Parliament,” she said.
She added that nobody should come and create a district outside the awareness of the Parliament. “Also we halted the creation of new districts, so there is no business in saying we are creating new districts. Secondly, you should not be bothered about your security, we are going to work on it.” Anita added.
Meanwhile, the bad blood between Begumisa and Minister has always not been good since 2001 when Begumisa contested with Kawooya for the position of woman Member of Parliament for Sembabule District and It must be recalled also that the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah once presided over the same issue however according to Begumisa the minister did not stop.
The Sembabule issue comes at a time when the public is still grappling with land issues and untouchable politicians who shield in the name of the State House to steal and grab peoples’ lands.
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