Kapelebyong has potential of feeding Uganda

By Emmanuel Opio February 27, 2024

For the last one month, Kapelebyong District has hosted important persons in the corridors of power of this country. One among them is Mr. Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director Uganda Media Centre and the spokesperson of the Government of Uganda.

On the justification of his stay in Kapelebyong, Opondo documented about the economic transformation of Northern Teso in an article of Saturday, February 17, 2024, titled “NORTHERN TESO, A PROMISING NATIONAL FOOD BASKET”.

The article highlighted how Teso is beginning to gain momentum to feed Kampala with cattle, goats and sheep, just years after people returned to their homes from internally displaced persons camps (IDP camps).

From district records, at least 7091 cattle and 1462 (goats & sheep) were sold in Kapelebyong from July 11 to Nov 28, 2023. This highlights Kapelebyong as an economic haven for North Teso.

With insecurity-trauma drawn from the recent agonizing cattle raids by hostile Karamojong warriors, the little progression experienced by communities in Northern Teso Districts is as a result of passionate, focused and concerted efforts of local leaders to deliver services.

The author also raised a matter of absence of top district officers of Amuria and Kapelebyong including; Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), District Chairpersons - LCVs, District Internal Security Officers (DISOs) and District Police Commanders (DPCs), in their duty stations in August 2023.

In the case of Kapelebyong, he scores high on the account of economic analytics of the sub-region but less on claims of officers’ absenteeism in their duty stations.

His alarm bell is not born in reality but imagined demoralizing tales. It’s important to firmly know and admit that these officers stay in their duty station. Painting a wrong picture on their faces is equivalent to raising an alarm about a lions’ false attack on a village.

The author also mirrored all top officers of Kapelebyong to be residing in Amuria (45km away) or Soroti (85km away) before labeling them as liars and lousy managers. These are untrue and image tarnishing assertions which only water down the great efforts of a thin staff base in the district. It’s like harassing and insulting an innocent hardworking father in front of his young children.

Infact the officers are enduring to reside and work in Kapelebyong under harsh almost unbearable challenges which include but not limited to; poor housing conditions, limited or no social amenities and grave understaffing levels (39%), among others. The officers share limited furniture and office space. No district in Teso, if not Uganda, faces such hitches!

Since its creation on July 1, 2018 by a statutory instrument of Parliament, Kapelebyong district has built a patriotic human resource that voluntarily works for long hours. With the same spirit, Kapelebyong, if well invested on, with its natural endowment, is a promising wealth reserve of Uganda.

Currently, Kapelebyong district is struggling to construct a council chamber due to inadequate transitional grants remitted by the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development. The construction bill of quantity is shs4.7billion yet we only received shs300m per annum in the last three years.

We implore the Central government to be considerate of new local governments in allocation of transitional grants during the budgeting period to be able to pick up with old local governments.

The efficiency of officers in Kapelebyong will improve by far if enormous challenges which they face are urgently fixed. In a district without any Head of Department, Officers need to be understood and encouraged based on reality to be able to deliver effectively.

The Writer is a Communication officer - Kapelebyong District.