Mount Rwenzori’s slopes bear witness to a growing dispute between Kabarole and Ntoroko districts over the ownership of Nyamisingiri village.
The village, nestled at the boundary of the two districts, has become a source of tension, with conflicting claims from district leaders.
Kabarole insists it’s a village in Kicwamba subcounty, while Ntoroko argues it’s a parish in Nombe subcounty.
The district chairperson of Kabarole, Richard Rwabuhinga, attributes the annexation claims to Ntoroko leaders ferrying voters from their district.
On the other hand, Ntoroko’s district chairperson, Williams Kasoro, asserts that Nyamisingiri was coded under Ntoroko by the Ministry of Local Government.
“Ntoroko’s annexation claims are a result of ferrying voters from their district, attempting to influence the area’s affiliation,” claimed Rwabuhinga
“Nyamisingiri was coded as a parish in Ntoroko by the Ministry of Local Government; it has historical ties to Ntoroko dating back to its time as part of Bundibugyo district, ” countred Kasoro.
Nyamisingiri, home to both Bakonjo (aligned with Ntoroko) and Batooro (aligned with Kabarole), has permanent homes, acres of gardens, and livestock.
Residents, torn between the two districts, express mixed reactions. Some note they have benefited from both districts, while others recount confusion during a recent UPDF helicopter crash, unsure of which district would address their demands.
Rwabuhinga alleges that Ntoroko’s annexation claims originated from the ferrying of voters, a claim dismissed by Kasoro.
Both leaders insist that their respective districts have provided services to Nyamisingiri residents.
“Kabarole has extended numerous services to the community, and residents have benefited. Ntoroko, according to Kasoro, has also provided services, and residents have their loyalty divided,” stated Rwabuhinga.
“The annexation claims are not about voter ferrying; they are rooted in historical ties and the ministry’s coding when Ntoroko was part of Bundibugyo district, “countered Kasoro.
Documents from the Ministry of Local Government, signed by the former minister Adolf Mwesige, do not list Nyamisingiri as one of Ntoroko’s parishes.
However, Kasoro maintains that the village was coded as a parish during Ntoroko’s affiliation with Bundibugyo.
“Historically, Nyamisingiri was coded as a parish during the time when Ntoroko was still part of Bundibugyo district. The Ministry’s records might not capture that historical context.” contended Kasoro
As the dispute escalates, the residents of Nyamisingiri find themselves caught in the crossfire, uncertain about their village’s official affiliation.
The clash between Kabarole and Ntoroko brings to light broader issues of historical claims, voter influence, and administrative discrepancies that require resolution for the sake of community stability.