UGANDA: STRATEGIC LOCATION MAKES GULU HAVE BETTER ECONOMIC DAYS AS REGIONAL CITY-MP

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Roads rehabilitation is going on in the proposed Gulu City.

“Gulu was planned long ago by our colonial masters as a regional headquarters for the greater northern Uganda because of its strategic location. If it is declared a city because of that comparative advantage, it will become a gateway to the region. We already have the second longest airport. This is economics, not politics”

“You should fight hard and get rid of these petty crimes from within the Municipality. You must know that we have very good image internationally and we must protect that name. Before the end of 2019, Gulu will have enough power to spur industrialization. You must get ready for this development”

GULU-UGANDA: The Member of Parliament for Gulu Municipality, Mr. Lyandro Komakech, has appealed to the business community to embrace international trade instead of getting stuck in petty trade as the Municipality will soon be gazetted as a regional city.

He said because of its strategic location in the region, Gulu will soon be opened as a gateway to international trade but he laments that the local leaders are still ill-prepared to receive the new city.

“Gulu was planned long ago by our colonial masters as a regional headquarter for the greater northern Uganda because of its strategic location. If it is declared a city because of that comparative advantage, it will become a gateway to the region. We already have the second longest airport. This is economics, not politics”, says the legislator.

He made these remarks on Monday, January 21, 2019 while handing over torches to local council one and two chairpersons of the municipality to enable them provide security within their areas of jurisdiction.

The security torches were procured from Dubai by the legislator at a total cost of shillings 2.2 million (about US$600) to enable the local leaders get rid of wrong elements in their communities, especially street kids who have become a security threat.

Some of these kids have since grown into adults and their common crimes include robbery, housebreaking, pickpocketing, and waylaying people at night, among others.

“You should fight hard and get rid of these petty crimes from within the Municipality. You must know that we have very good image internationally and we must protect that name. Before the end of 2019, Gulu will have enough power to spur industrialization. You must get ready for this development”, says Mr. Komakech.

Government is planning for five regional cities i.e. Gulu, Mbarara, Mbale, Arua and Jinja municipalities and the Uganda National Planning Authority is still preparing a technical report to be submitted to the Ministry of Local Government before it is tabled in parliament for approval. Each of these cities will have two divisions.

According to the Gulu District Chairman, Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, Gulu Municipal Council authorities should begin planning for a second sports stadium in the proposed new Western Division and a golf course now. The stadium should be built to international standards.

A member of the National Planning Authority in Uganda, Professor Sam Obwoya-Kinyera, said the authority has already completed its work of drawing up a master plan for the regional cities but what is remains is the political will to implement it.

“It is in the plan to establish regional cities but implementation is another thing. It needs follow-up by your political leaders. You may require political patronage these days unlike in the past where we used to look at Uganda as Ugandans. These days we look at where we come from which matters in implementation”, says Professor Kinyera; adding that Mbarara and Arua Municipalities are far ahead of other Municipalities in terms of readiness.

Gulu Municipality plans to extend its boundaries to engulf sub-counties from neighboring districts in order to meet the basic requirement of a city in which requires a population of five hundred thousand people.

According to the Member of Parliament of Aruu North, Mr. Samuel Odonga-Otto, the establishment of regional cities is being delayed by government because it has put an embargo of creating new constituencies yet these new cities will require new Members of Parliament.

“There should be a law operationalizing it but government doesn‘t want it coming”, says the legislator.

 

 

 

 

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