Mbarara-Mbarara district leadership has castigated the Minister for Local Government, Rapheal Magyezi, for failing to pronounce the ministry’s position over ownership of a district property.
Mbarara District Chairman, Didas Tabaro says the Ministry’s failure to make a pronouncement over several structures has affected the district’s revenue collection.
In a meeting with the Public Service and Local Government Committee of Parliament, Tabaro said the city boundaries issue has created a blood exchange between the two entities.
“Can you imagine the child we have produced coming up with a resolution that the district should vacate its premises within 14 days before even the government allocates us a single coin to construct new headquarters?” He said.
He added that this has been an on-going conflict for now three years involving the ownership of Kakyeka Stadium, the White House, Nganwa Hostel, rental houses, accommodations, and King of Kings Church, among others.
Tabaro said the district earlier gave away three sub-counties with movable properties, adding that it was a mistake they are not about to commit again.
“Imagine someone has invested a lot of wealth in a city boundary, and now you are sending him to Bwizibwera to use only 100 million sourced from local revenue, yet the person you’re giving all the properties to is already generating about 8 billion from local revenue sources,” he said.
Mbarara city town clerk, Assy Abirebe also challenged the government to speed up the process of addressing the conflict to allow the city to get enough office space for its staff members.
“Recently the minister promised to make a roadmap for all the 10 cities and that he will come with his team to be done before the end of this quarter and we are still waiting,” Abirebe said.
The resident district commissioner (RDC), Mbarara Emmy Kateera Turyabagyenyi, asked the central government to avail itself of the standard guidelines that can guide the allocation of what belongs to the city and the district in a harmonious manner.
“Can we invite the parliamentary committee to look into the guidelines that were gazetted? I am sure they must be answering most of the fears we have here,” Turyabagyenyi said.
Jovanice Rwenduru and Woman MP Kiruhura challenged the two entities to remain patient as the government is looking forward to sorting out this matter.
“We can comfortably report that there is a serious conflict in Mbarara, but colleagues, at the moment, be patient and do not start dishing out ultimatum letters to our district, which is your parent, because the government is doing something, and that’s why we are here,” Rwenduru said.
Committee Chairperson Dr. Isingoma Patrick Mwesigwa and MP Hoima City pledged to meet the minister to expedite the process of resolving the problem of property sharing among all the cities as per the guidelines.
“We found it to be a big issue in Masaka, and I am sure we shall find it in Hoima city, but we want to encourage the two entities to continue with their co-existence to make sure that the relationship with Mbarara district and the city is maintained,” he said.
In the new arrangement, Mbarara District Local Government was moved to Bwizibwera, where its headquarters will be hosted, although the leadership insists on retaining some revenue collection rights in the city.
Apparently, Mbarara City authorities collect revenue in billions of shillings, which the District insists should accrue to them.
It is projected that Mbarara Local Government would only raise about Shs 108 million once it moved out of the city, an amount not enough to sustain the operations of the district.
Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news