Several leaders from Busia County have urged President William Ruto to consider giving Teso region a County status.
The leaders were speaking during today’s tour by President William Ruto, when the latter was urged to consider the smaller section of the larger Busia County to be given its separate County status.
Teso is a one of the minority groups found in Busia County, which its leaders feel have suffered a lot of sidelining when it comes to equal distribution of government resources.
The leaders felt that their section has been playing second fiddle to the dominant Luhya-dorminated regions. For instance, Teso South MP Mary Emase said that as a minority and marginalised group, Iteso of Busia County has never – since independence and enactment of the 2010 Constitution – been accorded opportunities.
“We have not been accorded opportunities in educational and economic fields, access employment, water, health and infrastructure,” she stated. She added that the community has not been able to develop cultural values, languages and practices. “It is not lost to members of this Bi-Partisan Dialogue Committee of the common current claim by the previous and current political elites that the Western region is a Mulembe Nation. “This is extremely prejudicial,” she added.
It’s noteworthy that the immediate former governor of Busia County, the County that Teso region finds itself in, was a Teso. Mr Sospeter Ojaamong was from Teso South, who served for the entire two terms interrupted. It is therefore paradoxical that people from the same region are now complaining of not having benefitted from both County and national governments.
Teso North MP Oku Kaunya noted that Busia County has 35 wards and therefore 35 elected members of the County Assembly. “However, only 12 are members of the Iteso community,” he stated. He added that there are 18 nominated members of the County Assembly out of which only one is from the Iteso Community. “This means that try as they can, no Motion by the Iteso community can be passed in the County Assembly,” he said.