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Govt finally approves Mbale city status

Mbale Town. The municipality to be a city in 2020. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – The Minister of State for Local Government Jennifer Namuyangu has on Monday 2 announced the approval of Mbale city status in the first batch.

The revelation was made by Don Wanyama Innocent, the senior presidential press secretary on Monday afternoon.

“Hon Jennifer Namuyangu, the State Minister for Local Government, has made it clear that Mbale City will come into force in July 2020, in the first batch of cities. The sticking issues that had caused it to be pushed to phase two have been resolved,” revealed Wanyama on his social media platforms.

In May, Mbale youth engaged in a street protest against the denial of city status to the district once named with the cleanest town.

Carrying placards some displaying ‘Mbale city now or never’, the youth were chanting; ‘we want a city’. However, Police used tear gas to disperse them.

This was following the cabinet’s approval for the creation of nine cities, five of which were to become operational on July 1, 2020.

The initially approved cities include Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal, and Mbarara.

According to the cabinet, Hoima and Mbale were to become cities in July 2021.

 

Fort Portal, 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.

Also, in June, the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Mutebi II raised his voice to the government for the delay to approve Masaka Municipality into city status.

Kabaka was on July 9 speaking to the congregation at St Paul Cathedral, Kako in Masaka District when he revealed that Masaka town has all the qualities needed to be made a city.

He, therefore, said that the municipality should be among the first five approved new cities by then.

“We are really wondering why our town, Masaka, which has all the requirements to become a city, was not considered among the first new cities,” he said.

Also, a budget of UGX130b will be set aside for the operationalisation of these cities.

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