The Ministry of Local Government is finalizing the preparation of regulations to facilitate sharing of property between new cities and districts from which the cities were created.
The regulations, according to the Minister of State for Local Government, Hon. Victoria Busingye Rusoke are intended to curb the fights and help resolve the issue of property sharing between the districts and the cities.
Minister Rusoke was presenting a status report on the operationalization of new cities before the Government Assurance and Implementation Committee presided over by the Vice-Chairperson Hon. Joseph Ssewungu, on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
In April 2020, Parliament approved the creation of 15 cities including Jinja, Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Fort Portal, and Masaka. Other are; Lira and Soroti, and Entebbe cities.
Hon. Ssewungu tasked the Minister to explain the solution to the fights over property between the mother districts and the cities, and the fact that some cities have not seen any change concerning infrastructure since they were set up.
“What is happening now in these cities is that they are fighting against each other, those who were taken away from the cities to go to the parent district have refused to leave the cities. I can give an example of Masaka district, they say they have assets in the city,” he said.
Minister Rusoke said that they are in the final stages of putting up a regulation to resolve the sharing of property between the cities and the districts.
She said that they are working with the Attorney General to come up with the Local Government City Regulation according to section 175 of the Local Government Act.
“To assure the committee, last Thursday, I tasked an officer to go to the Attorney General’s office and get us the feedback. They promised that on Thursday, this week they are bringing a copy,” he said.
She said that the draft framework provides for equitable sharing of the property between cities and districts. Rusoke also said that they have halted any sale or further sharing of the property until the regulations are concluded.
Hon. Sssewungu however said that there is a need for law and not simply a regulation that hinges on the Local Government Act.
There has been bickering between Mbarara district local government and Mbarara city council for instance over the Administration buildings found in Kamukuzi division, Mbarara City. Lira and Soroti district leaders equally want compensation for their properties by the cities among others.