BUNDIBUGYA: The National Resistance-NRM Party members in Bundibugyo District have asked President Yoweri Museveni to fulfill the campaign pledges he made to them, including those he made in 2016.
The key elements of the pledges include the creation of Bughendera District, the establishment of a cocoa factory, the construction of bridges and the expansion of the road network in the mountainous areas.
The issue of the unfulfilled pledges came to the fore during a meeting of NRM members from Bughendera County NRM Forum who gathered on Wednesday to assess the performance of the party in their area and mark seven years since former Minister Christopher Kibanzanga joined the party from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party.
Kibanzanga later became Bughendera County NRM chairperson, a position he holds to date. Bundibugyo comprises two counties of Bughendera, predominantly dominated by Bakhonzo, and Bwamba, dominated by Bamba and Babwisi tribes. In 2006, Museveni okayed the creation of Bughendera District while on his campaign trail at Burambagira Primary School.
The party members now say they have run out of patience. Christopher Kibanzanga, the former area member of parliament, says that the issue of creating Bughendera county is long overdue. Kibanzanga also decried the poor road network, inadequate schools and health centers that he thinks can be made better by granting the area political autonomy.
Kibanzanga told URN that the area has long been marginalized and has missed out on social services.
Hashim Mwesige, an NRM stalwart, says that Bughednera county has spent the last 12 years pushing for a district status, but they wonder why the issue has been ignored.
He wants the authorities to compel the president to give them an explanation of why they have failed to get a district status to date, despite approval by the Bundibugyo district council in 2016.
Ivon Kabugho, from Bumate in Harugale Sub County, says that social services, including health, schools, and roads, remain in a deplorable state compared to Bwamba County.
Kabugho, a seasoned cocoa farmer, also demands that Museveni deliver on his promise to construct a cocoa factory to better their business.
Muhamood Tubuhaburyayo, who joined NRM in the 1980s, said that Bundibugyo District has not yet benefited from NRM despite the outstanding support they have given to the party and President Museveni. For example, he notes that Bughendera as a county has had no significant position in the government since Kibanzanga’s dismissal, and the majority of their children are unemployed.
David Maate Nyamungera, the Chairperson of NRM Bukhonzo Sub County, says the new district will extend service delivery in the area. The diploma holder in civil engineering says trained people like him have not been able to get jobs because there are few administrative units in the area.
Christine Muhindo, from Ngamba Sub County, says that the president pledged to tarmac major roads in the area in 2016, but this has not happened to date. She added that they have consistently asked for the establishment of government-aided vocational schools in vein.
Umar Muhanguzi, the Bundibigyo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says that they recently remained the president about some of these community pledges, including the creation of Bughendera District.