The Ministry of Local Government has handed over Jinja City boundaries to the municipal council and constituted an advisory committee headed by the State Minister for Cooperatives, Mr Fredrick Gume, ahead of the attainment of city status on July 1.
While handing over the boundaries on Wednesday, Mr Justinian Niwagaba, the commissioner for urban administration in the Ministry of Local Government, called for discipline and following of guidelines.
“You should have discipline by respecting guidelines. Jinja City should be free of slums, and build structures that are required of a city,” Mr Niwagaba said.
The advisory committee comprises the former Lands minister, Mr Daudi Migereko, Dr Joseph Muvawala, the Busoga Kingdom prime minister, Mr Mohammed Baswali Kezaala, Uganda’s envoy to India, Mr Ambrose Ocen, the town clerk, Mr Majid Batambuze, the mayor, and Mr William Kayensigye, the Chief Administrative Officer, among others.
Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, who presided over the function, said the city should restore Jinja’s lost glory.
“Busoga’s agenda is the revival of Jinja into an industrial city and to boost the economy in the region. Already, it has close to four electricity power stations,” Ms Kadaga said.
She tasked the committee to follow the physical plans to avoid slum development.
Ms Kadaga also warned people against encroaching on the source of River Nile land which is a major tourist attraction.
She directed Mr Ocen and Mr Kanyesigye to secure its land title.
Ms Kadaga advised residents to stop selling their land in Budondo, Bugembe and Mafubira, all part of the Northern Division of Jinja City.
The advisory committee has also been tasked to lobby for the upgrading of Kimaka Airstrip into an airport to ease trade and movement of people.
During the 1970s, the East African Airways planes would land at the airstrip from Nairobi.
Mr Titus Kisambira, the district chairperson, said they were building their head offices in Kagoma Sub-county to create space for good planning of the city.
Mr Batambuze, who is also the chairperson Urban Authorities Association of Uganda, said they were ready to learn from other cities in East Africa.
Cities in offing
Cabinet suggested the creation of nine cities, five of which are to start operating on July 1. These are Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal and Mbarara. Hoima and Mbale will become cities in July next year.