These cities include Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal, and Mbarara which will be elevated from municipal status. The others are Hoima and Mbale which will become operational in 2021.
The move is part of a government decision to turn nine municipalities into regional cities. They include Fort Portal, Mbarara and Hoima from western Uganda; Entebbe from the central region; Lira, Arua and Gulu from the northern region, and Mbale and Jinja from the eastern Region.
According to the minister of Local Government, Tom Butime, the cabinet meeting that was chaired by President Museveni in Entebbe yesterday, resolved that the municipalities will be elevated in a phased manner.
A budget of Shs 130 billion was set aside for the operations of the cities after meeting all the requirements. In February, a technical team led by the commissioner of urban administration from the ministry of Local Government, Justinian Niwagaba on a mission in Fort Portal noted that all regional cities will have two divisions.
Niwagaba added that each division will have a member of parliament - MP and an overall MP for each city. Uganda's parliament is already bloated with 458 MPs who strain the public purse in form of high salaries and allowances.