Parliament has stopped districts from auctioning headquarters and other public property of the ten newly created cities as they struggle to raise funds or construction of new district headquarters after being displaced by cities.
The report of the committee of local government which was read late last week, revealed three districts threatening to dispose the district headquarters which were inherited by new cities and to use the money to construct of their new head offices .
The report indicates that many districts are disposing of property within the cities as they prepare to relocate ,to frustrate the handover of these properties to the new cities .
In 2020, the government created 10 new cities including Jinja, Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Lira, Fort Portal, Hoima and Soroti which were operationalized in the 2021/2022 financial year. As such, their mother districts were supposed to vacate their old premises and relocate to new headquarters on the promise that they were to be allocated sh1 billion each as startup funds.
However, barely two years after this, the Chairperson of the Public Service Committee of Parliament Martin ojara Mapenduzi revealed to parliament that this is yet to materialize as only Soroti city has received Shs1bn to kickoff construction of the district headquarters.
The committee report which was presented to parliament last week indicates that the cash flow drought has put district leaders in a spot of bother and on the brink of desperation to the extent of selling off district headquarters to find funds to start construction of new district homes.
Mapenduuzi added that cities too are struggling with office space, mentioning Arua where some 406 staff were rucruted but lacks space to accommodate them.
The minister of local government Raphael Magyezi who concurred with the committee findings, noted that the situation is worse with sub counties which were displaced by newly created town councils.
Meanwhile, as the government fumbles to operationalize newly created administrative units, Magyezi expressed a need for creation of more municipalities in the country, pointing at Luweer , Dokoolo and other town councils which are developing at a rapid speed.
Parliament adopted a motion urging the government to find supplementary funding to operationalize all new administrative units.
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