By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Cabinet has officially created nine new cities across the country, after several municipalities being elevated to city status.
A Cabinet resolution passed Monday approved the creation of nine new cities, five of which will become operational on July 1, 2020, after getting all the required logistics. Tom Butime, the Minister of Local Government, revealed that the Cabinet meeting that was chaired by President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe on Monday, resolved that the municipalities will be elevated in a phased manner.
He said that “A budget of Shs130 billion will be set aside for the operationalisation of the cities after meeting all the requirements.” According to the cabinet resolution the new cities are; Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal, and Mbarara. These will be elevated from municipal to city status by July 1, 2020. The other two cities that will become cities on July 2021 are Hoima and Mbale.
Fort Portal,which has been elevated to tourism city, Mbarara and Hoima will be regional cities in western Uganda; Entebbe city in the central region; Lira, Arua and Gulu in northern region while Mbale and Jinja cities will serve the eastern region. The move is part of a government plan to turn nine municipalities into regional cities so as to develop the areas around them and improve service delivery.
Over the phone last night, Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda aka Nikisoboka,on hearing the news said he was over excited to have spearheaded the ‘land mark’ achievement for Fort Portalians. “This is part of what we agreed with the president when he visited the region last week,and you can see he has chaired the cabinet that has approved it. Ofcourse there are many issues we discussed but this is a good sign he has started implementing. And to those fighting good ideas in our region,please let’s raise above personal and petty issues and work for our people,” Ruhunda decried.