The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has praised the leaders of Teso and particularly Soroti for being united in championing for the needs of the people.
Making reference to what she called a “frivolous threat” by some leaders to stop Soroti from being granted city status, Kadaga said she saw both the NRM legislators and opposition MPs speaking in unison to have the district get city recognition.
“There was a hitch when someone tried to stop commencement of this city but I saw the NRM and FDC MPs together united in purpose for the city to take off. I thank Teso MPs for such unity exhibited,” she told members of the District Council and NRM delegates gathered at the City Hall.
Kadaga said since there was no court injunction, Parliament went ahead and granted Soroti, city status. She added that the city was not for the NRM, FDC or Independents but a home for everybody.
“I thank the municipality and the sub-counties for accepting to have their land annexed to the city. Own the city and develop it. I look forward to seeing the city grow,” she said.
In April, Parliament approved the creation of 15 cities with Soroti, Hoima and Lira scheduled to be operational in July 2021 but last month, Parliament brought forward their commencement date to July 2020.
Speaking to Parliament, the Local Government Minister, Hon Raphael Magyezi, justified bringing forward the commencement date of the three cities citing the upcoming general elections. He said granting the cities status now rather than later, would accord the people an opportunity to elect their representatives.
Soroti Municipality MP, Hon Herbert Ariko said acquiring city status was a move in the right direction.
“This is the second highest level of urbanisation. It comes with bigger opportunities for development and brings with it job opportunities,” he said.
He observed that as the regional capital of Teso, the city will have a bigger population which creates a bigger market and will spur growth.
At the side-lines of the event, the Speaker met NRM delegates who sought to demonstrate their commitment and support for her candidature. Kadaga is seeking re-election as the 2nd National Vice Chairperson (Female) of the NRM Central Executive Committee.
Capt. Mike Mukula, who is also vying for the position of NRM Vice Chairperson (Eastern) said the Speaker has been firm and assertive when it comes to Teso matters and implored the delegates to support her overwhelmingly.