UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The Local Government Minister, Raphael Magyezi, has warned local leaders in districts that became cities against disposing of land and buildings in their names within the cities.
The warning comes amid disagreements between district and city officials around the country over the transfer of immovable properties from districts to new city councils.
Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka recommended the mother districts transfer their real estate holdings to the new cities, give up their offices, and build new headquarters in various locations in October 2021.
Mr Kiryowa said this nearly a year after the ten newly established cities of Mbale, Soroti, Arua, Lira, Gulu, Fort Portal, Masaka, Mbarara, Hoima, and Jinja had already come into existence.
The new municipal authorities supported Mr Kiryowa’s decision, while district leaders mostly disagreed, arguing that it was not supported by any law.
The administration has, however, for the time being, banned all land transactions in the mother districts that are still run out of the city, according to Minister Magyezi.
He recognised that there was a dispute over property between the district and city governments but cautioned the latter against trying to sell anything that was registered in their names.
According to Magyezi, the government will shortly publish regulations governing the transfer of properties from district to city councils.
He adds that they are still looking at five more municipalities around the nation for potential cityhood over the next five years. These comprise the municipalities of Wakiso, Entebbe, Moroto, Kabale, and Nakasongola.
The transfer of assets owned by the district to the city council in Gulu gave rise to a dispute between the city and district officials at the beginning of the year. To build its new headquarters, the Gulu has purchased 104 acres in the Awach Town Board, 35 kilometres outside the city.
Due to the inability to build a headquarters, the Gulu District LC V Chairperson, Christopher Opiyo Ateker, stated that a substantial portion of their personnel still works within the city.
However, Ateker points out that the district won’t give up its land to the city council until the Local Government Ministry issues explicit instructions.
Isiah Tumwesigye, the clerk for the Gulu City Council, claims they have no interest in the property but points out that the government had previously announced that city councils would now be managing district assets.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: