KAMPALA – Parliament has on Thursday 3 directed the Ministry of Lands to present findings from a study visit to London which was meant to acquire the colonial maps of Uganda clearly state the borders of Tororo District.
The visit to London was by a verification team of Members of Parliament from Tororo, Ministers and officials from the Lands Ministry.
This followed the long-standing dispute on the boundaries in Tororo district.
The Speaker Rebbeca Kadaga issued the directive after the Lands Minister for s second time did not present the report on the visit to Parliament.
“I am giving you [Lands Ministry] up to 28 October when we resume business to bring that information. If you do not bring it, we are not going to handle the business of the ministry,” Kadaga said.
The State Minister for Lands, Hon Persis Namuganza had earlier informed that House that cabinet was due to discuss the matter and a conclusive report would be brought to Parliament.
“President Yoweri Museveni who has been chairing meetings with members from Tororo district said the report is going to be perused by the cabinet, have its input and after, it will be presented to the House,” said Namuganza.
The Speaker wondered why the cabinet had to discuss the report two years after the matter was raised. “I do not know whether the cabinet is going to alter what was found there. What is the cabinet discussing? A map is a map!” Kadaga said.
Hon. Fredrick Angura (Tororo South) presented a copy of the map acquired from London.
He told the House that there was urgent need for the report and maps to be availed by the Lands Ministry, so as to solve the impasse.
“We may all recall that over shs4 billion was returned to the centre because it was not absorbed in Tororo district, and Tororo country to be specific,” said Angura.
He added that “the council lately only sits with members of West Budama who are heavily guarded to deter members from Tororo County from participating in the meetings”.
West Budama County South, MP Hon. Jacob Oboth proposed that information on the matter ought to be sufficiently presented to Parliament; in seeking a remedy to solve the border dispute that has spanned 21 years and caused unending tensions in Tororo district.
“We need time to debate this matter. I request that the next time it comes to the Floor of the House, we MPs from Tororo should be accorded enough time to give both sides of the story,” Oboth said.
The impasse over land boundaries stems from 1998 tensions where residents of Tororo County requested President Yoweri Museveni through then area Member of Parliament, Hon Paul Etiang, for their own district saying they were being marginalised.