Members of Parliament from Jinja want government to expedite the process of elevating the municipality to a city.
In 2016, Parliament deferred a motion seeking to elevate four municipalities to city status on grounds that they do not meet the criteria. The municipalities included Jinja, Mbarara, Arua and Gulu.
According to the Ministry of Local Government, one of the requirements for a municipality to attain city status is to have a population of 350,000.
Jinja MPs led by Hon. Nelson Lufafa (NRM, Butembe County) told the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, during a meeting on Wednesday, 01 August 2018 that Jinja district has exceeded the required population, which now stands at 500,000.
He said the population criterion was met after the leaders decided to consider Jinja district as a whole to make up the city.
“Jinja Municipality has all the necessary infrastructure required including roads, the Nile bridge as well as tourism activities which puts the municipality at a vantage point of attaining and sustaining city status,” said Lufafa.
He further said elevating Jinja Municipality into a city positions Uganda at the same level with neighbouring East African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania that each have three cities.
“Jinja has been a municipality for over 68 years. It is time for that status to change and when it does, it will not only create jobs for the population but also enable creation of divisions in Jinja,” he added.
Kadaga advised the MPs to bring back the motion so that the Ministry of Local Government can expedite the process of elevating all the proposed municipalities.
“Uganda’s population has grown over time in other urban areas. It is necessary that we get new cities,” said Kadaga.