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Mayors Threaten to Sue Ministry of Local Government Over New City Leadership

Mayors, whose municipalities are becoming cities effective July 1st, have threatened to sue the Ministry of Local Government if the District Chairpersons are to take interim leadership of cities instead of the current municipality leadership.

Mayors under the Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU) have already notified the Minister of Local Government about their intention to sue the Ministry in case they are barred from taking the interim leadership of the cities.

Only four days are left before Arua, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja and Masaka municipalities start operating as cities.

However, district chairpersons where the urban authorities currently belong have petitioned the Local Government minister, opposing the proposal that the current municipal mayors become interim leaders of the new cities.

Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the Mayor Mbarara Municipality while addressing journalists in Mbarara municipality on Thursday afternoon said they are still waiting for the guidelines as there is no law guiding the leadership of these newly created cities.

Kakyebezi said the ministry of local government should be very clear and handle the matter wisely or the courts will determine.

He said the electorate mandated mayors with five-year term of office which is still running asserting that as mayors they are going nowhere.

“I campaigned and the people of Mbarara chose me to lead them for five years and my contract is still running and then you say a district chairperson should come and takeover, this won’t happen and that’s why we’ve notified the minister of our intention to sue them if they make that mistake” Kakyebezi said

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The District Chairpersons, in a June 11 letter to the minister of Local Government, said it is unconstitutional to elevate the leadership at the municipality to a city.

The chairpersons also argued that the interim leadership of the cities should be treated like that of other newly created administrative units as per the Local Government Act, Cap 243 since a city is equivalent to a district.

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