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Civil Servants in Newly Created Cities to Retain Jobs :: Uganda Radionetwork

Civil Servants in Newly Created Cities to Retain Jobs

On Thursday, during a debate held on Zoom that was organised by Kabarole Research and Resource Centre – KRC, and attended by hundreds of Kabarole residents and leaders, Justinian Niwagaba explained that civil servants in the elevated municipalities will remain with their jobs and work in the cities.
22 May 2020 09:50
Fort Portal Municipality will become a tourism city effective July 1, 2020.

Audio 2

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The Commissioner of Urban Administration in the Ministry of Local Government, Justinian Niwagaba, has said that civil servants in municipalities that have been elevated to city status will retain their jobs.   

Last month, parliament approved the creation of 15 cities that will be operationalised in a phased manner starting with Jinja, Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Fort Portal and Masaka that will start effective July 1, 2020. 

However, after the approval, there were concerns by the civil servants and politicians in the different municipalities on the fate of their respective offices.

In Fort Portal specifically, several councillors and the Mayor, Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga, threatened to seek legal action in case issues of transition are not transparently and legally handled.   

On Thursday, during a debate held on Zoom and organised by Kabarole Research and Resource Centre, Niwagaba explained that civil servants in the elevated municipalities will remain with their jobs and work in the cities.   

The theme of the debate was, "Political Structure and Administration: How Fort Portal Municipality was a transition into a tourism city."

On political offices and interim leadership, the commissioner said that guidelines are being drafted to see how the two issues will be handled since there is no law in place to guide on the same. 

During the debate, residents raised several other concerns that they want the Ministry of Local Government and other relevant stakeholders to address before or after the city of Fort Portal starts operating.   

Gilbert Kayondo, the speaker Fort Portal Municipal Council, raised a concern on land ownership, saying that most of the land in the current municipality is owned by Tooro Kingdom and Ruwenzori Diocese, making the occupants unable to develop it since they don’t have land titles.  

Kayondo also said that for the city to be meaningful there should be a gazetted place for apartments to solve the issue of lack of proper housing facilities in the area.   

Chris Kasaija, a resident of Kitumba, proposed that there should be a mechanism of involving the senior citizens and experienced former leaders of the area in the decision-making process of the city so that their expertise is not lost completely.   

Beatrice Kiraso, a leadership and governance consultant, said more emphasis should be put on having good leaders if the city is to develop and achieve its objectives. Kiraso represented Kabarole District in Parliament between 1996 and 2001 before going on to become a deputy Secretary General of the East African Community.  

On preparedness of Fort Portal to become a city, Mayor Muhanga noted that all is set for the tourism city to be realised.  

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However, Muhanga added that several other things have to be considered for effective service delivery. 

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Cue out… to its residents.”//  

Richard Rwabuhinga, the Kabarole local council Chairperson, said the district leadership is working on a plan to shift the headquarters that are currently located at Kitumba, East Division, to a place outside the new city.   

The Fort Portal Tourism City, like all the new cities, will have two divisions: North and Central.

The central division will be made up of the current three divisions of the municipality namely South, East and West plus Ibaale parish that was curved out of Busoro Sub County.  

The North Division will be made up of the sub counties of Karambi, Bukuuku, Kiguma, and Karago Town Council.