UGANDA, Nakasongola | Real Muloodi News | The residents of Nakasongola District will have to wait a little longer for city status after the government announced the postponement of the creation of new regional cities and municipalities.
This news has brought about mixed feelings among the people of Nakasongola, who had been hoping for the establishment of Nakasongola Industrial City.
This hope for city status was further dampened by the fact that it was not captured in the 2023/2024 budget framework, and the State Minister for Finance, Henry Musasizi, confirmed that the government would not be creating any new cities.
Sam Kigula, the Chairperson of Nakasongola and a member of a committee selected to track the progress of the city status, expressed his disappointment with the news.
He said, “Reports that the elevation of Nakasongola to a city status is [fading] or is not a government priority now is saddening, but a reality.”
He added that the lack of official communication from the government made matters worse.
Nakasongola County MP, Noah Mutebi Wanzala, said he had interacted with Minister Musasizi, who assured him that the government would fulfil its pledge to create new cities, but the implementation had been postponed in favour of pending priority programs.
He further revealed that the government’s current position should not worry the people of Nakasongola because the plans had only been postponed, not blocked.
However, the lack of updates from relevant government departments has affected the work of the 13-member committee approved by the Nakasongola District Council in August 2022 to fast-track the city’s status in coordination with the Ministry of Local Government.
While some members of the committee have revealed that their work has not gone well due to the lack of updates from the relevant government departments, others are concerned that the delay in elevating Nakasongola to a city status is leading to uncertainty among residents.
Elizabeth Nakazi, a resident said that many are building structures, including buildings without approved plans, and they are yet to get clear guidance on particular projects that may be accepted within the new city boundary.
In 2022, the government indicated that the actualisation of the industrial city would start in 2025 due to financial challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the same year, the district council voted to have the district maintained outside the new industrial city to protect the identity of the Baruuli people and their culture.
While many are disappointed with the government’s decision to postpone the creation of new cities, they are hopeful that their city status plans will not be blocked permanently.
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