Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The elevation of Soroti municipality to a city has earned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga support from Teso region towards her candidature for the position of second Deputy Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement- NRM party.
Kadaga’s bid to retain the position gained momentum following the move to fast-track the elevation of Soroti City. The city had initially been sequenced to start its operations next financial year. But parliament fast-tracked the move, bringing the operationalisation closer. From the time, a majority of the NRM delegates in Teso, and opposition legislators in the area have been drumming support for Kadaga.
During the inauguration of Soroti City on Monday, Bob Owiny, the Deputy Council Speaker for Soroti District chaired a special council meeting to extend gratitude to Kadaga and the government for considering the operationalization of Soroti City. Owiny also used the opportunity to lobby for support to Kadaga’s candidature in recognition of her effort in steering deliberations in Parliament.
It is reported that uncertainty engulfed legislators from the region when some people including Soroti Landlords Association petitioned against the creation of Soroti City. But the situation was saved when Kadaga took a firm decision to continue the debate against the petitions.
A group of 1,000 landlords led by Pascal Amuriat had raised a red flag against the elevation of Soroti municipality on the grounds that the communities annexed to Soroti city are largely agrarian and that the elevation was likely to distort their way of life.
The petitioners add that the population of Soroti was too low to warrant the elevation to a city. “Soroti district Population according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics stands at 296,833 people, while Soroti Municipal Council is 49,685; the ideal population size should at least be 100,000 persons to form a city”, the petition reads.
But Capt. Mike Mukula, the NRM Vice Chairman for Eastern Region said that despite the challenges, Kadaga stood her ground to ensure that Teso achieves a City Status. Mukula adds that Kadaga is a blessing to the region and should be given another chance in the Central Executive Committee.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga told the people of Teso that the creation of cities is the only way for the country to realize development. She warned against what she described as loose talk against the creation of cities adding that the elevation comes with more benefits.
Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi said that the issues raised by the landlords have now been addressed, and hastened to add that the cities are going to attract industries that will provide employment opportunities for the people. Magyezi also tipped both the technical and political personnel to improve their academic qualifications to match the requirements under a city. he noted that much as all the staff annexed to the city will continue with their jobs, future recruitments might affect those with low qualifications.
Soroti City comprises East and West Divisions. the East Division will comprise Eastern and Northern Municipal Divisions; the entire Soroti Sub County; Opuyo, Acetgwen, Opiyai, Aloet and Otatai Parishes in Arapai and Asuret sub-counties. Soroti City West Division will comprise Western Municipal Division; Amen and Arapai Town Councils; Agora and Aguma Parishes of Lale Sub County.
Soroti City East Division will be headquartered in the former Eastern Division offices while former Amen Town Council offices will host Soroti City West Division headquarters.