Kapchorwa, Uganda: There are mixed reactions in Kapchorwa municipality following the recent snap decision to name a street after the first son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba. The former Commander of Land Forces visited Kapchorwa on January 21, 2023, as part of his countrywide tours to popularise his MK project.
However, during the visit a group of leaders led by the Municipal Works Committee Chairperson, Musani Dickson decided to name the road leading to Kapchorwa primary school and Barawa ward after Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Micheal Kusuro, the west division councilor who was part of the decision, says that the opportunity came at short notice and could not allow them to follow the due process.
“We thought wise to name the road after Kainerugaba so that he can tarmac it, which he agreed, I believe no councilor denies such developmental opportunities no matter how it came,” he said. He says, there is a need for councilors to understand, and minute it for purposes of formality so as to allow the development of the street.
“Gen. Kaineruga, will not even use this road often but it’s us the community, so why complain? he asked. Bush Arapta, the Speaker of Kapchorwa Municipality confirmed to Uganda Radio Network, the abrupt naming of the street was an opportunity to tap from Gen. Kainuragaba during his visit.
“Which leader doesn’t cherish a developmental opportunity that has come, if others are complaining, then they need to be lectured on how resources are lobbied,” he told URN on the phone. Some of the residents insist that it was unbecoming for the leaders to make such a decision without a council minute.
Alex Bosco Chericha, an opinion leader in Sebei, asserts that naming roads after a person demands legacy and great contributions by that person in that respective community. According to Chericha, the decision to name the road after Gen. Kainerugaba was an oversight by whoever was involved.
Brian Mande, the Chepsukuroi ward Male youth councilor says that it was not proper for a few individuals to decide for the Majority. He says that they are planning to move a motion to reverse the decision until it’s passed through the council. “What people should know is that the name given to that road is not recognized by the council,” said Mande.
Silas Chemonges, the Kaplelko ward councilor, says that the naming of the road by a few individuals is a sign of negligence in abiding by the rules of procedure by some of the municipal council leaders. “I represent the people and if I was not informed about such a development, meaning the name given to that road is not genuine,” said Chemonges.
Isaac Cherop, the Kween ward councilor wants the Mayor to explain to the people the criteria for naming a road after an individual without consultations. Peter Kamuron, an Elder told Uganda Radio Network that, the decision to name a road after Kainerugaba is a disgrace to the elders and a sign of poor leadership in the municipality.
“They should have come and consulted some elders who contributed to the prior naming of some of the streets in Kapchorwa,” said Kamuron. Kamuron explains that there is a need for the Sebei Cultural institution to lead in the naming of the streets to avoid such mistakes. The Mayor of Kapchorwa Municipality, Andrew Timothy couldn’t be reached for comment by the time of filing this story as his known numbers were turned off.
The District LC V Chairperson, Everline Chebet Kubarika, says that they were not involved in what happened during the visit of General Muhoozi and the resultant developments. “I and the Chief administrative officer were just invited guests, but the entire planning process was done by the municipality,” she said.
Kapchorwa Municipality has over 5 Roads named after different individuals. They are Moi Road, Toskin road, Chewere road, Kenyatta Road, and Chemonges road among others. According to the elders, the roads were named in recognition of individuals who played significant roles in the development of the Sebei.
For Instance, Chemonges street was named after the late Yovan Chemonges Kingo, who advocated for the Independence of Sebei from Bugisu in the early 1960s. He staged a demonstration and blocked the Border between Sebei county by then and Bugisu, which were under Mbale District.
Chewere Road was named after the renowned Sebei Chief Francis Chewerei who was a part of the cessation of Sebei from Bugisu. It’s believed that Chewerei harbored over 200 youth before staging the cessation demonstration.