Government is effective July 1 set to elevate Fort Portal, Mbarara, Hoima, Lira, Arua, Gulu, Mbale, Jinja and Entebbe municipalities to cities, supposedly to promote regional development.
The Vision 2040 recommendation to create the new cities is to decongest Kampala, the commissioner in-charge of Urban Planning, Mr Justin Niwagaba, said last week.
According to the Local Government Act, a municipality must have a population of at least 500,000, have facilities, institutions, developments and an enabling environment that attract people to work, invest and stay there.
The private sector must also offer services to support the growing city and its population, among others.
According to Mr Niwagaba, Arua, Mbarara, Gulu and Mbale will be regional cities while others will be strategic cities; Fort Portal (tourism), Jinja (industrial), Lira (industrial) and Hoima (oil).
Nakasongola and Moroto have been differed because their planning requires a different model where basic amenities must be put in place in order to attract dwellers.
Fort Portal tourism city
A fortnight ago, Kabarole District Council approved the proposed Fort Portal tourism city after resolving to annex other lower administrative units as it gears up for the long awaited city status.
Parts of the district annexed to the proposed tourism city include Karago Town Council and Ibaale Parish from Busoro and Karambi sub-counties.
Others include Kiko, Mugusu and Kasenda town councils and Kasenda, Ruteete, Mugusu and Karagura sub-counties. These are endowed with tourism sites such as crater lakes.
The proposed city will have two divisions; one will cover the present East and South divisions, Ibaale Parish, Rubigo Parish and Karambi Sub-county, while the other will cover the present West Division, Karago Town Council, Bukuuku Sub-county and Butebe Parish.
Currently, Fort Portal has West, East and South divisions, covering about 40 square kilometers against the required 120 square kilometers, according to the mayor, the Rev Kintu Muhanga. The 2014 national census put the town population at 54,275.
The urban authority in 2016 launched a campaign of planting one million trees with the aim of creating a forest city by 2025.
Credit: Daily Monitor
Kampala. Following a growth in dividends by five times for 2018 to Shs40 per share from 2017’s Shs7.6 per share, foreign institutional investors are buying Umeme shares as others opt out.
The Umeme counter has grossed Shs8.68b in the past three days from a sale of 28 million shares.
This has been a generally rare occurrence on the Uganda Securities Exchange given the volume and amounts involved.
According to an industry source who asked not to be quoted because they are not authorised to speak officially on the matter, the trend is driven by institutional investors.
“These are institutional investors,” he said, adding: “The ones that are selling have held the Umeme shares for a while and at this point they have nothing to lose as the share price itself is not bad.”
For those who are buying the aggregated 28 million shares bought in the past three days would fetch a dividend of more than Shs1.12b, which is worth the investment in that short time.
In 2017, regulatory requirement chopped off Shs115b off its profits to close that year with only Shs35b.
In 2018 the company almost quadrupled its profits at Shs132b thus the accruing dividend.
Umeme has been recording some good growth, especially in customer numbers which have grown to 1.3 million customers as of close of December 2018.
The shift to prepaid metering for most of its customers has greatly improved Umeme’s revenue streams.
However, the company still faces challenges such as collecting outstanding debts from government, where arrears of power bills are increasingly becoming exorbitant.
In the last six months, Umeme connected at least some 46 new industrial customers that have greatly boosted its numbers.
Source: Daily Monitor