Parliament Defers Approval of I5 New Cities

Minister of Local Government, Tom Butime attending in the house

Parliament has deferred the vote on creation of new cities for failure to have the necessary quorum to debate the matter.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Local Government Tom Butime presented to Parliament a list of new 15 cities that government had resolved to create within a span of 15 days.

The move by the Minister faced difficulty when legislators noted that the request presented lacked a copy of resolution passed by the area authorities as well as clear demarcation for the new cities.

This forced the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who was presiding over the house to adjourn the matter to today Thursday so as to allow the Minister present the resolutions as well the demarcations.

Thursday afternoon, the Minister presented all that was requested by the legislators and was ready to proceed with the debate. The debate ensued and the members were to take a vote on the creation of the cities.

However, voting could not go any further as the presiding officer realized that the house was not well constituted to take a decision on such a matter.

Oulanyah noted that according to the rules, it required a simple majority of 223 Members of Parliament to pass these cities and thus suspended the house for 15 minutes to enable whips mobilize MPs.

However upon resumption of the session, the number of MPs had further reduced which prompted him to defer the matter to next week.

“The activity we were going to engage in was to take decisions which are dictated upon by the constitution and they require a majority of all Members of Parliament, meaning we should have a record of that majority. I adjourned the house for few minutes but on return, the numbers had even become less,” Oulanyah said.

“In the circumstances, we shall not be able to take a decision on this matter, we will review as we progress,” Oulanyah ruled to defer the passing of new cities.

The cities that are set to be created will come into effect in a phased manner starting July 1 next year.

The cities to take effect on July 1, 2020 include Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Mbale while Hoima city will take effect on July 1, 2021 and Lira and Entebbe will become operational a year later.

Other proposed cities include; Wakiso, Moroto, Soroti, Kabale and Nakasongola.

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