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Butime, Karambi Leaders Meeting over Fort Portal City Ends Prematurely :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Butime, Karambi Leaders Meeting over Fort Portal City Ends Prematurely

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.
A meeting 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.  

During the 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.   

According 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.    

However, 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 rescinded.  

Sensing that the councilors were not willing to give in,  Butime ended the meeting.

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 status.  

 

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.