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Kitgum Municipal Officials Propose Plans to Expand Boundaries

Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk Emmanuel Banya says that discussions are already ongoing with relevant authorities in the district and sub-county on their planned boundary expansion.
One of the streets in Kitgum Municipality.

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Kitgum Municipal Council officials have hatched plans to extend the current Municipality territorial boundary to cover some neighbouring villages to the Municipality. 

Kitgum Municipal Council was elevated from a town council status in the financial year 2016/2017 and was gazetted to cover 60,000 square miles of land.

But officials say the Municipality is instead operating on only 40,000 square miles of land, much smaller than its original gazetted land size.

Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk Emmanuel Banya says that discussions are already ongoing with relevant authorities in the district and sub-county on their planned boundary expansion.

He says the expansion will cover some villages in the neighbouring Sub counties which were put on the gazette at the time of elevating the Municipality from a Town Council status. 

The sub-counties that will see parts of their boundaries annexed for the expansion of the Municipality include Labongo Layamo, Labongo Layamo, Labongo Amida, and Labongo Amida West.

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Banya says the drive to expand the Municipality boundary is geared towards increasing the Indicative Planning Figure-IPF for the Municipality for infrastructural development. 

He notes that the expansion will also see the peri-urban areas near the municipality benefiting from the extension of services, electricity, and road networks that connect to some of the strategic points in the Sub counties.

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Geoffrey Komakech, Labongo Amida Sub-County Chairperson welcomed the decision to annex part of the sub-county into a Municipality but notes that proper consultations have to be made with the residents and local leaders.

He says his area has about eight villages that are proposed for annexing but the locals are still green about the arrangement.

"The move is good but we need transparency in this process especially conducting consultation with the landowners. As sub-county officials, we also propose that if it's possible, these villages in my area that will be annexed should be given a division status," Komakech said.

But Banya notes that the planned Municipality expansion won’t have any effect on people’s lands. He says the move will instead offer more advantages to the landowners owing to development extension and an increase in land values.

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A similar plan to expand the Municipality boundary in 2016 stalled after it triggered a land dispute among sub-county leaders neighbouring the Municipality. The sub-county leaders alleged the plans would cripple their operations since vast villages would end up being annexed.

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