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Excitement as Arua, Mbarara assume city status

Jinja City. PHOTO PPU

Uganda now has eight cities 

1⃣ Fortportal
2⃣ Jinja
3⃣ Masaka
4⃣ Mbarara
5⃣ Mbale
6⃣ Arua
7⃣ Gulu

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated the people of Jinja, Arua, Gulu, Masaka, FortPortal, Mbarara and Mbale, whose towns today became cities.

“This is an acknowledgement of the growth these towns have experienced but importantly a move to ensure more services are brought closer to the people,” he said, adding,” My guidance is that the political and  technical leaders must work in harmony to ensure the cities are run efficiently. I also urge the wanainchi to be involved in the running of these cities, especially through oversight.”

There were celebrations at all the new seven cities.

Muni University ICT Hall was filled with applause and jubilation at midnight as Arua municipal and district leaders welcomed the new Arua City. A select delegation gathered to welcome the new city as it clocked midnight on Tuesday.

Arua is one of the seven municipalities which were recently elevated by Parliament to attain city status effective today, July 1, 2020, as one of the initiatives to accelerate urbanisation through attracting direct investment and international support for infrastructure.

The team in Arua which was anxiously waiting for the new status was virtually joined by the State Minister for Housing and Urban Development Isaac Musumba, who urged the people of Arua and West Nile to guard the city jealously.

Musumba urged the people of Arua and West Nile to be ready to sacrifice land for infrastructural development as one of the benefits of the city. The new Arua city comprises Ayivu division and Arua Municipality, now Central division.

But in his featured keynote address, the Retired Bishop of Madi West Nile Dr Joel Obetia called on the leaders of the city to be exemplary and do the right thing at the right time to develop the city.

The new Arua city has already elected division mayors to lead the interim government while the decision on who leads the city as interim City Mayor still awaits a guideline from the Ministry of Local Government.

After the operationalisation of the initial seven cities, the sec­ond cluster that in­cludes Hoima, Lira and Soroti will take ef­fect on July 1, 2021, while the third cluster that in­cludes En­tebbe City will take ef­fect on July 1, 2022.

The last group which in­cludes Wak­iso, Mo­roto, Naka­songola and Ka­bale cities are ex­pected to take effect on July 1, 2023.


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