In April this year, Parliament approved the creation of 15 new cities in line with the constitution on alteration of boundaries and Section 7 (2a) of the Local Governments Act on declaration of cities.
Some of these cities will be in operation on 1st July 2020.
These include, Arua, Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Mbarara, Fort Portal and Masaka.
Now, the question of who assumes the interim leadership of these cities has come to the fore, creating uncertainty.
Under the provisions, the new cities are to be spearheaded by the respective district local governments.
However, the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda(UAAU) has questioned the provisions of the two articles that parliament passed.
Majid Batambuze, the chairperson (UAAU), said that the constitution provisions upon which parliament passed the cities do not give a clear direction.
He said the new cities are expected to be under interim leadership until formal election is conducted in 2021.
Batambuze said given the limited timeframe, vesting the mandate on urban council authorities would not only save government time but also resources as opposed to the local government leadership.
“We are going to need technical officers that have experience in running municipalities, as urban areas we are therefore proposing that political leaders should abide by the current municipality leadership,” he said.
In response, the Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magyezi admitted that the new cities may face some challenges in the initial stages.
Magyezi vowed to deal with corrupt officials noting that they stand to lose their jobs during the transition period.
“If you have failed to manage a town council, how do we take you to a city? If you have accountability issues, how can we hand over these billions of infrastructure money to you? I will not defend a corrupt person in a local government,”he said.