National News Politics

Municipal Mayors take over New Cities

Seven municipalities have been upgraded to city status today. Mayors of the new cities will serve as leaders until elections are held.

The Government has named the interim mayors of the seven cities that have come into force today. They will serve until elections are held.

Fortportal, Mbarara, Arua, Gulu, Mbale,Jinja and Masaka-from the first batch of municipalities that Parliament this year approved for elevation to city status.

According to guidelines that Raphael Magyezi, the Local Government Minister issued yesterday, the cities will comprise interim mayors, members of the original district councils representing sub counties, town councils, municipal divisions and other electoral areas within places now under the cities. These will form interim city councils

It will also comprise members of the former municipal councils. The chairpersons of the district women councils, MPs representing constituencies within the cities’ jurisdictions, district woman MPs, chairpersons of women councils in annexed sub-counties, tpown councils or former municipal divisions within the cities’ jurisdiction are ex-officio members to the interim city councils

“The mayor of the former municipality elected by universal sufferage shall be the interim city mayor, subject to section 12(2) of the Local Government Act,” Magyezi told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala yesterday.

This means the new interim mayors are: Goerge Labeja (Gulu), Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi (Mbarara), Isha Kato Afeku (Arua), Majid Batambuze (Jinja), Mutwalib Mafabi Zandya (Mbale), the Rev Kintu Willy Muhanga (Fortportal) and Godfrey Kayemba (Masaka).

The interim city mayors, according to guidelines, will nominate from the council members (interim) deputy mayors and (interim) executive committee. The executive dcommittee will comprise the mayor, deputy mayor and a maximu of three secretaries.

The interim city councils will neither have a speaker nor a deputy. The interim city mayor and deputy will act as speaker and deputy speaker.

Aerial view section of Mbarara City

There shall be an interim executive committee for each city division council, composed of city division chairperson, vice chairperson and a maximum of three secretaries, the guidelines state.

The council is the the planning authority and is expected to develop the 2020-2025 development plan. The previous bank accounts of municipalities, dividions, town councils and sub-counties have to be closed and new ones, in the names of city councils, will be opened.

Similarly, the city division councils are planning authorities in areas under their jurisdiction, and are expected to develop five-year development plans The headquarters of the city councils shall be the headquarters of the former municipal council, while those of the city division shall be at the former divisions, sub-county or town council headquarters

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