By Moses Mulondo & Joyce Namutebi
GOVERNMENT has resurrected the plan to extend the boundaries of Kampala into the neighbouring districts of Wakiso, Mukono, Mpigi and Luweero.
This was revealed by the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on Wednesday during his question and answer session in parliament.
Mbabazi said expansion of the original boundaries of Kampala city is inevitable since the city has already expanded more than four times of its original size.
He was responding to a question from the Buliisa MP Stephen Mukitale who wanted to know when government would bring the Kampala Metropolitan City law to expand the boundaries of Kampala.
“We have never resolved the question of Kampala. In the negotiations with the Buganda kingdom on the regional government, we agreed we would curve out part of Kampala to create Mengo municipality and compensate that by expanding Kampala into the neighbouring districts,” Mbabazi explained.
The premier said government is in the advanced stages of bringing the law for the creation of Kampala Metropolitan City.
Although the Buganda negotiation team led by former Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyammuli had accepted the proposal for the expansion of Kampala, the Buganda Lukiiko rejected the idea and advised the central government to create regional cities, create a new capital city and leave Kampala in its current form as a commercial city.
The earlier plan also collapsed when the Buganda Lukiiko rejected the regional tier government within which the arrangement had been made, arguing they prefer a federal government which would give them revenue collection autonomy other than depending on the central region hand-outs.
Fort Portal municipality MP Alex Ruhunda asked the premier when government would return the Tooro kingdom properties as it had done for Buganda.
In response, Mbabazi said, “What has been done for Buganda will be done for other cultural institutions? Those cultural institutions were restored by the NRM government.”
Tempers however flared up when Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi said what was returned is less and means nothing without giving Buganda federal status since that land was originally used for administrative purposes.
This compelled Mbarara municipality MP Medard Bitekyerezo to angrily react saying Kivumbi was out of order since the Buganda MPs who witnessed the handover of the 213 Buganda titles by President Yoweri Museveni were happy about it.
There was also indignation towards the premier when the Busiro North MP Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya raised concern over government’s lukewarm response to the strange caterpillars which are destroying people’s crops in various districts of Buganda.
Mbabazi said that government in conjunction with local governments had started supplying pest sides to tame the caterpillars.
But Buikwe North MP Dr. Lulume Bayiga said what government had supplied in Buikwe was too little to even spray one acre.
Busiro East MP Medard Ssegona and Bukomansimbi MP Deo Kiyingi said they had not seen any government interventions in their districts.
Deputy speaker Gilbert Oulanyah urged government to be more committed in responding to the disaster so that its intervention can be felt by the masses in the places where it is occurring.
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Gov’t resurrects plan to extend Kampala boundaries