According to the highly-guarded minutes of the meeting that was held at Mountains of the Moon Hotel in Fort Portal, which URN has finally accessed, councillors wanted the minister to fund the consultations and also send his technical staff to help on carrying out the task.
According to the minutes of the meeting, Minister Tom Butime refused demands by Karambi Councilors to fund consultation of their voters on whether or not they want to be part of the proposed Fort Portal Tourism City.
between the Local Government Minister, Tom Butime and Karambi Sub County
officials in Kabarole district over the proposed creation of Fort Portal
Tourism City ended without a way forward.
On April 18, 2019, Butime called for a meeting with 11 Karambi councillors
opposed to the proposed merging of their Sub County with Fort Portal
Municipality to form Fort Portal city status.
The councillors are Annet Kansabe, Monday Robert, Mary Bonabana, Violet
Kirungi, Rosette Kabarangira, Vincent Asiimwe, Concepta Mbabazi, Joseph
Mashuhuko, Lillian Bagonza and Josephat Busobozi.
The councillors say their voters were never consulted on whether or not
they wish to join the city and that there is no Sub County council resolution
indicating that Karambi is willing to join the city.
closed-door meeting chaired by Butime, Kabarole L.C5 chairperson, Richard
Rwabuhinga; and all the district technical staff; the minister demanded for a
way forward on how the issues by the councillors would be resolved.
to the highly-guarded minutes of the meeting that was held at Mountains of the
Moon Hotel in Fort Portal, which URN has accessed, councillors demanded that
the minister funds the consultation of residents and sends his technical staff
to help execute the task.
The minister immediately rejected the proposal, saying that he is not
responsible for meeting their demands.
the councillors vowed to continue opposing the proposed creation of the city
and pursue the matter in court unless their demands are met.
Margaret Muhanga, the Burahya County Member of Parliament, who also attended
the meeting, asked the minister to inform Rwabuhinga to apologize in writing to
the councillors and to her as the MP for what she termed as lies and confusion
he has caused over the matter.
Rwabuhinga told URN he will not apologize to anyone insisting that he conducted
consultations in Karambi and residents okayed the annexation of the Sub County
to Fort Portal Municipality
He also says there is a resolution made by Karambi Sub County in 2015
indicating that they want to join the city and the resolution was never
Sensing that the councilors were not willing to give in, Butime ended the
He promised to meet other leaders at different levels over the matter.
Last month, Kabarole district and Fort Portal municipality leaders met with the
Commissioner of Urban Administration from Ministry of Local Government,
Justinian Niwagaba, and submitted the names of Sub Counties and Town Councils
that agreed to be annexed to the municipality for the city
During the meeting held at Kabarole district council chambers, the
leaders named Karambi, Bukuuku, Busoro Karangura, Kasenda, Ruteete, and Mugusu
sub-counties. The town councils are Mugusu, Kiko, Kasenda, and Karago.
However, shortly after the meeting, the Karambi councilors petitioned Butime
through their lawyers, Byamukama, Kaboneke and Co. Advocates, making
arguments against the proposed city and asked him to stay the proposed creation
of the city.
Last year, government moved to turn 9 municipalities into regional cities. They
include Fort Portal, Mbarara, and Hoima from Western Uganda; Entebbe from the
Central region; Lira, Arua, and Gulu from the Northern region, and Mbale and
Jinja from the Eastern Region.
A budget of 130 billion Shillings has been set aside for the operations of the
cities after meeting all the requirements.
Bureau Chief, Rwenzori Region