Parliament approves creation of new cities.
Parliament has today Tuesday 28th of April, 2020 with a majority of 312 votes out of 313 considered and passed the motion for the creation of cities, seven of which are set to take effect 1st of July 2020. A total of 325 members participated in the exercise however, only 313 votes were considered since 12 members voted through mobile phones.
The cities as passed by Parliament will be operationalized in phases and in clusters. The first cluster which includes Jinja, Gulu, Mbarara, Mbale, Arua, Fort Portal and Masaka cities are set to take effect of the 1st of July, 2020. The second cluster that includes Hoima, Lira and Soroti cites are set to take effect on the 1st of July 2021. The third cluster that includes Entebbe City will take effect on the 1st of July 2022 and the last cluster includes Wakiso, Moroto, Nakasongola and Kabale cities are expected to take effect on the 1st of July 2023.
Hon. Sarah Opendi (State Minister for Mineral Development) stood out as the only member who voted against the motion, citing the luck of funding to operationalize the new cities. The Member observed that the recently passed budget FY 2020/21 did not fully address some of the challenges in Local Governments, Districts and Municipalities saying “we had to borrow 600M Euros to finance our budget for this financial year, I vote No”
Hon. Medard Ssegona (Mp Busiro East) sought to move Parliament to reconsider and amend the motion to bring the operationalization of Entebbe and Wakiso cities that had been scheduled to take effect on the 1st of July 2022 and 1st of July 2023 respectively forward to 1st of July 2021. The Speaker however declined to grant the request indicating that there needed to be fairness in terms of distribution of cities across the country.