Mayors petition court to block new cities

Tuesday June 30 2020

New city. An aerial view of Arua Town with

New city. An aerial view of Arua Town with improved roads and housing facilities. The municipality is among those elevated to city status and will begin operation effective July1. PHOTO BY CLEMENT ALUMA 

By ANTHONY WESAKA & JULIET KIGONGO

Municipality mayors have petitioned the High Court to stop operationalisation of the seven new cities which come into force tomorrow.

The mayors under their association of Urban Authorities Association of Uganda contend that if the new cities come into operation tomorrow, the current mayors will automatically lose their respective seats as municipality leaders yet their five-year term is still running.

They also say many other district elected leaders will be affected such as municipality councillors, division chairpersons, division councillors, town councillors and sub-county chairpersons.

“In the alternative, the commencement dates of the new cities be pushed until after the next General Election such that there is no power vacuum, no disempowerment, no disenfranchisment and all candidates can complete their respective terms of office,” the mayors state in the court documents.

They also suggested to court another option of making them the interim city mayors until their term of office expires next year.

“If the current municipality mayors are not made interim city mayors of the new cities and appointed as city division mayors, the current chairpersons would be discarded with no office, yet they too were elected but would lose office prior to completion of their terms,” the document reads.

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NEW DISTRICTS
On April 28, 2020, Parliament passed a resolution, creating several new cities but with different midterm commencement dates of July 1, 2020, July 1, 2021, July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023.

The new cities to be created tomorrow are: Arua, Jinja, Mbale, Fort Portal, Masaka, Mbarara and Gulu.

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