TORORO. The long awaited meeting between President Museveni and Tororo local leaders to resolve a long standing impasse on whether to divide the district into two, one for the Iteso and the other for the Jopadhola, has been confirmed for today.
The MP for Budama South constituency, Mr Jacob Oboth Oboth, who is coordinating the meeting, confirmed to Daily Monitor yesterday that the President has invited a delegation from Tororo County and West Budama at his country home in Rwakitura, western Uganda.
He is expected to speak with finality about the outstanding conflicts between the Iteso and Jopadhola communities.
The Iteso of Tororo County have for long complained of high levels of marginalisation and suppression by their Jopadhola counterparts from West Budama County.
The Iteso now want an independent district carved out as per the boundaries drawn in 1948.
The presidential senior press secretary, Mr Don Wanyama told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview, that the President is scheduled to meet a delegation from Tororo County and West Budama County in Rwakitura where he will give his final position on the matter.
This is the second time the President is meeting the two groups this year. On May 30, the President met the leaders at his Kisozi Ranch in Gomba District, where each side was given a platform to defend their arguments on whether there is need for the creation of a district out of the current day Tororo District or not.
After their presentations, the President asked the two parties to give him up to June 25, where he was supposed to have communicated his final position but the meeting was overtaken by events.
He also ordered halting of the LC5 by-elections that was scheduled for June 29. Tororo County resolved to boycott participating in the by-election until they are given a district.
The EC is yet to set a new date to fill the vacant position for the LC5 chairperson following the death of former chairman Apollo Jaramogi in January.
Expressing their despair for a new district, an Iteso once put a rat in his mouth just to demonstrate the length his community is ready to go to have a district.
Now some Jopadhola youth have claimed they will eat human flesh, which is an offence since it would be cannibalism, to get a district.
At the weekend, the NRM party electoral commission chairperson, Mr Tanga Odoi, cautioned the Security minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, against what he called misinforming the government of a looming crisis in Tororo.
He made the caution during a public meeting at Rubongi Sub-county, which was organised by Mr Oboth Oboth, to officially handover Rubongi Rural Sub-county, formerly in his constituency, to Tororo Municipality.
“I want (Lt Gen) Tumukunde to be warned that the time for dividing Tororo is over. We are not divided, we shall not be divided and we don’t want to be divided. His work is to oversee the Ministry of Security docket. Tororo issue is a ministry of Local Government affair. We don’t want sinister motives here, Gen. Tumukunde,’’ Dr Odoi warned.
However, when contacted, Lt Gen Tumukunde, said he is not shaken up by such talks. He said going to Tororo was not out of his own interest but it was an assignment from the head of State to see how best to harmonise the tribal clashes between the two predominant tribes of Jopadhola and Iteso that were threatening bloodshed in Tororo District.
He said he knows what Dr Tanga is and what substance he speaks but as an intelligent man he will find other means of stopping him from using his names for politics.
“Let Dr Tanga continue talking whatever he feels like but I will find other ways of stopping him from using my name for his politics,’’ Gen Tumukunde said.