Siida Mukyalo a popular phrase in Uganda used to associate life far from the capital city Kampala as hard and full of struggle, is soon to be an expression of the past.
Today, 1st July 2020, the road map to urbanization sets off with seven new cities being launched-tremendously upping the number of cities in Uganda from 1 to 7. Each city will comprise two city divisions that will be equivalent to municipalities for easy administration and coordination. The seven municipalities; Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Mbarara, Fortportal, Masaka and Mbale, will attain city status after parliament approved a motion to create 15 new cities in the country in November 2019.
The 15 cities will be created over a four year time-frame according to Cabinet Minister of Local Government, Hon. Tom Butime, who reported that the second cluster of cities to be operationalized in 2021 were Hoima city. Entebbe and Lira city in 2022, while Moroto, Nakasongola, Soroti, kabale and Wakiso cities will start in July 2023.
The resolve by parliament to create these new cities (with a majority of 312 votes out of 313), was for the purpose of effective administration and the need to bring urban services closer to the people, which in turn will accelerate urbanization and an increase in urban infrastructure services and local revenue.
Kampala will remain the Capital City of Uganda run by the central government, whereas the new cities will be run under local government.