Authorities in Masaka Municipality want the administrative boundaries of the town expanded in pursuit of a city status.
According to Mr Godfrey Kayemba, the municipality mayor, the proposed expansion is one of the priorities lined up in his new term of office.
Speaking to Daily Monitor on Monday, Mr Kayemba said the expansion will involve annexing four more parishes of Kitengeesa in Buwunga Sub-county, Kirimya in Kabonera Sub-county, Ssamariya in Buwunga Sub-county and Kalagala in Mukungwe Sub-county into the municipality.
“Our desire to have the municipality elevated to a city status is long overdue,” Mr Kayemba said adding that government has sent a list of requirements to be met to in order to get a city status.
“We are lucky that we had already met much of these preconditions, and now it’s a matter of accomplishing the whole cycle,” he added.
He explained that annexing the new parishes seeks to restore social-recreation facilities taken over by squatters whose eviction might not be possible.
“We need to have gazetted spaces for public cemeteries, an industrial park, sports centres and garbage recycling plants, among others. We also expect to have an airstrip in the area. All these cannot be regained or constructed unless we extend the boundaries,” he said.
Yet to conclude
He also said they are yet to hold meetings with other leaders from the district and the sub -counties for a way forward.
Masaka Municipality sits on 58 square kilometres and has 11 streets and three divisions including Katwe-Butego, Kimanya-Kyabakuza and Nyendo-Ssenyange divisions. It has 54 zones.
Mr Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Municipality town clerk said they have previously held high level meetings with officials from responsible ministries on the matter and are hopeful their dream of Masaka city will be realised.
Population. Masaka Municipality has an estimated population of over 600,000 people more than the required 500,000 people.
Recent elevations. Masaka is one of the oldest urban units in Uganda, one of those built by the colonialists. It became a township in 1953, town council in 1958, before it was elevated to a municipality 10 years later.
Excluded. Last year, cabinet excluded Masaka on the list of municipalities to attain city status over failure to meet certain standards. Those granted a city status include; Jinja, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Gulu, Mbale and Arua.