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Court halts alteration of Rubuguri town council boundaries

KABALE – The Kabale High Court Judge, Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe has on Monday, August 26, 2019, extended the interim order to maintain the status quo and to prohibit and restrain the minister for local government and Attorney General from altering the boundaries of Rubugiri town council till February 5, 2020.

when the main application challenging the same is to be heard and determined by court on its merit.

Rubuguri Town Council was carved out of Kirundo Sub County following a resolution by Kisoro district council on March 27th 2017.

On February 15th 2019, the council resolved to expand the town council to include the villages of Nyabicence, Kashaka, Rutoma, Rushabarara and Igabiro.

However, a section of residents from the villages resisted the alteration. The faction argued that the expansion could result into loss of land and property during the physical planning process. They also feared that the town council will subject them to unnecessary taxes.

This forced Local Government Minister Tom Butime to hold a crisis meeting with residents and district authorities on June 20th 2019, with a view of gaining consensus among residents.

On June 24th, 2019, Minister Butime wrote to the office of the Kisoro District Chairman indicating that he has authorized the five villages to be included on Rubuguri town council.

On the same day, the district councilor for Kirundo Sub County in Kisoro district council Cossum

Kakyiga filed a case at Kabale high court seeking for a court order restraining the minister of local government and the government of Uganda from gazetting or implementing pronouncements on altering the boundaries of Rubuguri town council by including more five villages that were originally outside its boundaries arguing that it was irregular.

“I totally disagree with the minister’s position on this, it is iregular and against the will of the people in the contested place,”Kakyiga said.

Mr. Kakyiga also asked for costs of the suit.

James Byamukama another concerned resident asked court to quash the directive of the minister of expanding the boundaries of Rubuguri town council because they never followed the right procedure and the district council minutes that were allegedly documented supporting the expansion of Rubuguri town council boundaries were forged.

Mr. Byamukama said that “he has all the affidavits showing that the council resolutions on the expansion of Rubuguri town council were forged”.

In response, Mwebaze Ndibarema representing the attorney general and Minister Tom Butime then asked for an adjournment saying that he has not been served with copies of the additional affidavits filled to court by the applicant.

Then the Justice Moses Kawumi Kazibwe adjourned the case to February 5th 2020 when it will come up for further hearing.

Speaking to our reporter shortly after the court session, the Kisoro district Chairman Abel Bizimana accused the Bufumbira North Constituency Member of Parliament John Kamara for fueling and funding the conflict.

“This is a political propaganda fueled by some politicians who are hunting for their own gold not minding about the people they represent” Bizimana narrated.

But Kamara denied the allegations saying that he never had any hand in forging district council minutes.

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