The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has finally cleared the Ministry of Local Government to create three regional cities beginning July 1 2019.
The Minister for Local Government Colonel Tom Butime told us the other remaining regional cities will be operationalised in the subsequent financial years of 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.
Some of the new proposed cities are: Entebbe, Jinja, Arua, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara, FortPortal, Lira and Hoima.
For the last two couple of weeks, the Ministry of Local Government has been engaging and meeting different stakeholders from the proposed municipalities to prepare them before they are transformed into regional cities.
Butime said the meetings have focussed on issues like how they can generate their own revenue and become self-reliant, issues of boundaries of the new cities as some new areas have been incorporated into the proposed municipalities.
He said after these meetings, they received clearance from the ministry of Finance to start the operationalisation of at least three cities starting July this year.
He said the three cities will have to first be approved by cabinet, something that angered some legislators who wanted to know their identities.
Butime disclosed that they have put a caveat on the creation of lower units such as town councils, sub-counties and parishes as a result of the inadequate resources to run them.
Uganda currently has one city, Kampala, with 22 Municipalities and 134 districts.
The number of districts in the country has more than tripled in the last 15 years. Government’s argument has been that districts bring services closer to the people but many are grossly underfunded to provide any meaningful services.