Raphael Magyezi, the Minister of Local Government says that money is required to settle the apparent disputes between the districts and city authorities, over the transfer of immovable assets from the former to the latter across the country.
Courtsey image of MoLG minister Raphael Magyezi
Local Government Ministry is seeking at least 10 billion Shillings to
facilitate the relocation of the mother district headquarters from the boundaries
of newly established cities. Raphael Magyezi, the Minister of Local Government,
highlighted the necessity of this funding to resolve ongoing disputes between
districts and city authorities across the nation.
July 2020, the government operationalized new regional cities, upgrading
traditional municipalities. This transition necessitated boundary expansions,
incorporating areas from the mother districts into the newly formed cities. The
new cities include Masaka, Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Gulu, Fort Portal, Mbarara,
Hoima, Arua, and Jinja.
controversies have arisen between the cities and the leadership of the mother
districts. This friction stems from the Attorney General's directive, mandating
the transfer of immovable assets from the districts to the cities. The
directive requires districts to cede their headquarters, relocate to new
administrative offices outside the cities, and transfer assets to the new city
mentioned that the Ministry of Local Government is considering allocating at
least one billion shillings to each affected mother district to facilitate
their re-establishment. He revealed having presented and defended this proposal
to the cabinet, awaiting a supplementary budget allocation from parliament. Until the necessary funds are secured, Magyezi stated that the new cities will coexist with their mother districts.
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addition, Magyezi emphasized a warning to leaders in the mother local
governments against disposing of land and properties within the boundaries of
the new cities. He clarified that such decisions fall under the purview of
central authorities and agencies.
Andrew Lukyamuzi Batemyetto, the Masaka LCV Chairperson, opposed
the suggestion of surrendering properties, including the district headquarters,
to Masaka City without adequate financial compensation. The district council
had initiated the process of auctioning affected properties, citing the need to
secure funds for relocation, which Magyezi cautioned against.
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Ssenkungu, the Masaka district Workers’ representative, conveyed the district's
decision to disregard the Attorney General's advice instructing the forfeiture
of assets to cities, deeming it unreasonable. Ssenkungu urged the government to
swiftly allocate funds for reestablishing the mother districts, highlighting
their desire to operate without undue pressure and conflicts from city leaders
threatening their existence.