Masaka District is facing difficulties with its recent adoption of new administrative units. In March 2022, the district council approved the creation of these units in an effort to enhance service delivery and secure a larger share of Parish Development Model (PDM) funds. The new administrative units were established by dividing existing ones, affecting all four sub-counties in the district.
Bukakata Sub-county, for example, saw Bukibonga Parish split into two (Bukibonga A and B), while another parish was created from Ssunga Parish. Additionally, Lambu and Makonzi villages were elevated to the status of parishes.
Kyesiiga Sub-county, which originally had four parishes, now has two more parishes, with Kabanda Parish separated from Kyesiiga and Katikamu becoming a new parish carved out of Bbuliro parish.
In Kyannamukaaka Sub-county, changes included the creation of Bukibonga A parish from Bukibonga parish, Zzimwe A parish from Zzimwe parish, and Kamwozi A parish from Kamwozi parish.
Despite the district council’s endorsement of these changes, Masaka District has encountered obstacles in implementing them. Mr. Francis Kimuli, the district speaker, explained that they submitted their proposal to the Ministry of Local Government for approval, but it has been postponed until 2025 due to a ban on creating new administrative units.
Council members representing various sub-counties expressed concerns about the large populations in some parishes, which have hindered service delivery. They argued that the resolution to create new administrative units was aimed at addressing the imbalance in parish demarcations.
Mr. Mudashir Bbaale, a councillor representing Persons with Disabilities in Kyesiiga Sub-county, pointed out that certain parishes encompass more than 15 villages, making governance and supervision challenging. He emphasized that dividing them into additional villages and parishes would streamline service delivery.
The Minister for Local Government, Mr. Raphael Magyezi, suspended the creation of new administrative units in April 2021, citing budget constraints caused by the overwhelming number of sub-counties, town councils, and cities the government had to fund. Masaka District, with 192 villages, 18 parishes, and four sub-counties, was affected by this directive.
Originally, Masaka District included Rakai, Kalangala, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Sembabule, Bukomansimbi, Kalungu, and Lwengo, making it one of Uganda’s largest districts.