Don’t increase counties to 58

In Summary

• The National Dialogue Committee wants to create 11 new counties to cater for marginalised groups

• in Uganda, the number of districts has increased from 34 to 146 in less than 20 years

The National Dialogue Committee is about to recommend the creation of 11 new counties, raising the total to 58.

This will have huge cost implications since it will create 11 new county administrations including governors, 11 new woman representatives, and 11 new senators. It is just not worth it and probably government cannot afford it.  In fact, as Ekuru Aukot has argued, it might make more sense to reduce devolved administration to four – East, West, South and North – although this is unlikely to happen.

It will also set a very dangerous precedent. In the 1996 Constitution, Uganda had 34 districts (Uganda’s equivalent of counties) but in 2005 it started creating new districts. Today it has 146 and the number is still rising. A similar increase would give Kenya almost 200 counties. Once you give one group their own county, other groups will start clamouring for their own decentralised zone.

So let’s just stick to the 47 counties prescribed in the 2010 Constitution

Luckily the number of counties cannot be changed without a referendum. Hopefully the public will  be more sensible than the politicians and will spike this problematic proposal.

Quote of the day: "Greatness consists in deciding only what is necessary for the welfare of the country and making straight for the goal."

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
The Turkish leader founded the Republican People's Party on September 9, 1923

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