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Fight for interim leadership of Arua city divides district, municipal leaders

Mayor Arua Municipality Isa Kato addressing the councilors on their position on the interim administration of the new Arua city at the council hall on Tuesday. Courtesy photo

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Disagreements have emerged among Arua district and the municipality leaders over who should take over interim administration of Arua city.

Arua city is among the seven cities that will start effective July 1, 2020. The others are Fort Portal, Mbarara, Gulu, Masaka, Jinja and Mbale.

Ayivu county with seven sub counties will join Arua Municipality to form the regional Arua city with two divisions of Ayivu and Central. However, the district LCV chairperson and Mayor are already engaged in bitter exchanges over who will take over the interim leadership of the city for the next 11 months.

In an impromptu meeting with the Municipal councilors on Tuesday, the Mayor Arua Municipality Isa Kato said it’s unfortunate that the six regional district chairpersons including that of Arua have petitioned the Minister for Local government to hand them the interim administration of the city.

According to Kato no district leader will grab the interim city leadership from them since they are the ones who advocated for it.

Some Arua Municipal councilors have protested the move by the district council to claim authority over the city interim administration.

Boniface Alioni the vice LCV Arua says that there are clear guidelines on administration of regional cities, which do not in any way favour Municipal leaders for an interim administration.

According to Joyce Lekuru the Deputy Speaker Arua district local government, the Municipal leadership is wasting time fighting for the interim administration because they are a lower local government and cannot lead a higher local council.

“We are waiting for the guidelines from the Minister of local government and our friends in the Municipality will get shocked to see that they are only responsible in the Central division not the city,” said Lekuru.

Seven district chairpersons of Arua, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara and Kabarole petitioned the Minister for Local government objecting to the proposal by Mayors taking over transitional leadership of the new cities.

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