Public expenditure to rise as government creates new cities

 

Effective July 1, 2020, the Ugandan taxpayer will shoulder a heavier burden with an additional cost of maintaining leaders and public servants with the coming into effect of seven new cities.

The State Minister for Local Government, Jennifer Namuyangu told journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala that government had approved the proposal to operationalize seven cities namely; Arua, Mbarara, Gulu, Fort Portal, Jinja, Mbale and Masaka.

To get the seven cities functional, government needs an extra budget of at least Shs 41 billion.

Last year, cabinet had approved Shs 30 billion for six cities before the agitation for elevation of Masaka and Mbale Municipalities took traction, calling for an additional Shs 11.3 billion.

According to Namuyangu, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has approved the additional funding required to facilitate the operationalization of Masaka and Mbale cities.

“Uganda’s Vision 2040 envisages an urbanized Uganda, an ambitious plan that seeks to elevate it to middle income status. There’s no doubt that the future of Uganda’s growth will continue to lie in new cities which will be strategic and regional,” Namuyangu said.

The money will facilitate the recruitment of staff as well as facilitate the political leadership.

Each of the cities is planned to comprise of two divisions that will be equivalent to a municipality which means additional seats in Parliament as each municipality had to have an MP.

An additional city of Hoima will be added in July 2021 year before Lira and Entebbe cities become operational in July 2022.

Five more cities namely, Nakasongola, Moroto, Kabale, Soroti and Wakiso will be added in July 2023 in total bringing the number of the new cities to 15.