ARUA. Local leaders of the West Nile region have been called upon to make demands that have impacts on their people’s development other than mere focusing on getting smaller political units.
They have also been urged to strengthen their various associations at the local level so as to foster cohesion and better ideas for development.
Mr Peter Edopu, a consultant with Tango consults was speaking to the leaders in a dialogue aimed at developing a national strategy to curb extreme violence in the country in Arua on Tuesday.
His comments came after the leaders, drawn from political, security, civil society and religious circles advanced ideas of further disintegrating their political units claiming it will foster development and eliminate extreme violence cases.
“What special thing would you get as a region if you got a ministry than an individual pocketing a salary? Ministry of Bunyoro, Teso, etc is there anything different from those regions?” Edopu asked.
Mr Lawrence Adiga, presenting the views of the LC 5 Chairpersons after a group discussion complained of the lack of Cabinet positions, permanent secretaries and bigger government appointments for the region as well as the government’s failure to date to connect the region to the national electricity grid.
Mr Adiga, who is the district chairman of Marachc wants the government to stop unnecessary amendments to the constitution as a way of preventing extreme violence.
He cited the recent chaotic scenes in the parliament of Uganda in which the house was invaded by security operatives as one incidence that could have been avoided
Ms Judith Bako, a youth representative in Marach district council said government should give West Nile a separate Youth member of parliament as opposed to the old merge with the greater North.
However, the resident district commissioners appealed to the government to form stringent measures to regulate religious organizations.
Mr Isaac Lulaba, the RDC of Zombo district said some of the religious practices were becoming contradictions that could easily lead to violence if not addressed.
“We have heard in a neighboring country, some churches were closed because of too much noise, I think ours too should be checked and regulated” he said.
Mr Brighton Barugahare, the assistant commissioner and policy analyst in the ministry of education and sports said the dialogue is the brain child of recommendations of regional leaders of IGAD to mobilize strategy to curb violence.
Under the multi ministerial arrangement that is funded by the UNDP, a 22- member national technical committee has been formed to gather views from across the country before compiling them to form a national strategy against extreme violence.
Asked whether the dialogues have been organized as a result of escalating trends, he said the government wants to take a proactive step to avert any such occurrences of extremist violence other than being reactive.
Participants also outlined some of the causes of extreme violence as inefficiency of the courts and police, lack of independence of government institutions and blatant corruption.