Mixed Reactions From Gulu Leaders Over Proposed New Gulu District Headquarters

By Jesse Johnson James

The proposed new Gulu District Headquarters has been received with mixed reaction from a cross section of leaders and the public.

Gulu Municipality will attain city status on 1st July this year and all the Sub –Counties in Aswa County shall form the new Gulu district.

A technical committee headed by the Gulu District Engineer was tasked by the Chief Administrative Officer to assess the capacities of the Sub –Counties and identify one of them to be the new district headquarters.

The Committee’s report which proposed Cwero Sub –County as the potential District Headquarters was leaked to the media on last week and immediately triggered a debate on and offline.

Stella Lillian Lallam, the Chairperson of Social Services Committee Gulu District told said Cwero Sub –County cannot be the new district headquarters since it is not in the center of Aswa county and that if it is to be the district headquarters, some of the people will not have easy access to services offered by the district.

“The finding of the team scored Cwero to be the highest followed by Paicho Centre and Awach which came third. Palaro and Patiko scored below 50 percent. If we are to look at the geography of Aswa which is now a district, we have so many places that are at the extreme of the sub county,” said Lallam

“We need to get the central point of the district headquarters because the main aim of decentralization is to bring services nearer to the people,” Lallam added.

Isaac Ojok, the Gulu District Youth Chairperson argued that Awach is better placed to be the new district headquarters because it already has established facilities like a health center IV and learning institutions.

“We have the health center IV, the county headquarters for police and the district farm institute. We have primary schools that have playgrounds that can accommodate any district activity. We have a water plant that shall provide clean water to even the technocrats who will be staying there,” Ojok argued.

“We have electricity which is reliable; we have churches and mosques among other facilities. We have a proposed market for buying and selling livestock. These qualify Awach Sub –County to be the district headquarters”.

Christopher Opiyo Ateker, the Councillor V of Awach Sub –County said he’s also opposed to the new district headquarters going to Cwero because Awach is better placed since it currently serves as the headquarters of Aswa county.

Francesca Amony, the Councillor V for Pece Division in Gulu Municipality said the report of the technical committee shall be scrutinized by the District Executive Committee before its final approval by the district council.

“That assessment report is subject to discussion. DEC is sitting to scrutinize it,’’ said Amony

“I am confident that after the District Executive Committee, we are going to have a full council meeting to look into this matter critically giving all the factors and then we weigh where the district headquarters should be.”

Amony appealed to the general public to stay calm as the report is not the final decision of Gulu district on the new district headquarters.

James Bedijo, the Gulu District Deputy Chief Administrative Officer said it is too early for the district councillors to complain about the report since it is only a proposal by the technical committee and that they will have time to debate upon it during the full council meeting at an appropriate time.

Bedijo also noted that the technical committee had standard guidelines that they followed to propose Cwero Sub –County as the new district headquarters.