The newly elected Fort Portal Tourism City Mayoral Edson Asaba Ruyonga
has vowed to ensure a corruption-free council in his regime.
Ruyonga, who was the Mayor Fort Portal Municipality from 2001 to 2016, defeated
four others including the incumbent Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga, an independent
The other contestants were Richard Muganzi, Ivan Basaija and Robert
Bwango got only 93 votes.
In an interview, Ruyonga explained that most local governments are failing to
perform to the expectation of the electorate because the political leaders and
technical staff are corrupt.
He said some forms of corruption include councillors applying for and winning
council contracts, which leads to shoddy work being done without anyone to
condemn it. Ruyonga said most local councils can extend the necessary
services to the public if they ensure zero tolerance to corruption.
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In the past years, the municipality came under spotlight over corruption
allegations. In 2019, the municipality missed out on additional funding from
the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) project due
to poor accountability of funds.
According to Ruyonga, Fort Portal’s major challenges include under
population. The 2014 National population census put
the population of Fort Portal at 54,275 though it is estimated to
have since grown due to the annexation of Sub Counties of Karambi and Bukuku
and Karago town council to make it a city.
He attributed under population to lack of affordable housing in
the city and once he takes over office, he will ensure council zones some areas
where low-income earners will establish temporary structures for
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One of the major challenges the out-going mayor, Muhanga, has
faced is the existence of old structures in the middle of the city. The
buildings have occasionally collapsed and injured people.
But Ruyonga said he will never allow the demolition of such
structures because they are historical and can even be tourist attraction sites
if well maintained.
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With the poor collection of garbage remaining a major challenge in the city,
Ruyonga said he will ensure each of the two divisions gets a garbage truck and
he will use funds that he will lobby from central government.
However, despite all the plans, Ruyonga's 15 years as a mayor were not free
Ruyonga's third term was characterized by controversy, which
explains why he could not reclaim the seat. He disagreed with the municipal
technical staff and often accused them of conniving with contractors to fleece
the council funds.
In 2015, the Inspector General of Government - IGG ordered him to refund 12
million shillings to Fort Portal municipal council after he failed to travel to
the UK for a mayors' conference. Initially, Ruyonga had claimed that he
attended the conference, but investigations by the IGG discovered that he did
Ruyonga also clashed with members of the municipal council, forcing him to
spend close to two years without attending council sessions.