Leaders in the Local Government through their body- Urban Authorities Association of Uganda have petitioned high court seeking for an interim order halting the commencement of new cities until their case is fully heard.
Parliament on April 28, 2020, passed a resolution creating new cities which included Gulu, Jinja Lira, Fort Portal, Mbale, Hoima, Lira, Entebbe, Soroti, Nakasongola, Kabale, Lira, Mbarara, Moroto and Wakiso.
The leaders most likely to be affected by the government decision include Municipality Mayors, Councilors, Municipal Division chairpersons and Town Council chairpersons with their respective councilors.
These, led by their chairperson Mr. Majid Batambuze, allege that if these cities are allowed to commence operations before the expiry of the current leadership term, the current leaders will be pushed out of office before concluding their term which they were elected to serve.
“That if the current municipality mayors are not made interim city mayors of the cities and appointed as city division mayors, the current elected municipality division chairpersons of annexed sub-counties and respective councilors would be discarded with no office yet they too, were elected,” reads the petition in part.
The leaders have informed court that in case this interim injunction is not granted, they are most likely to lose their seats on top of being disenfranchised.
“The alternative commencement date for new cities should be pushed till the next respective election such that there is no power vacuum,” the petition further asserts.
The mayors also pointed out that the balance of inconvenience lies in their favor since they are the current Mayors and leaders of the respective municipalities.
The new cities were given different midterm commencement dates where by some will start on July 1, 2020, July 2021, July 2022 and July 2023.