Entebbe City; A Dream Come True?

Before 1900, after the introduction of explores and missionaries, Captain Frederick Lugard, after his tour of the Nyasa-land, accepted a job as the leader of the Imperial British East African Company – IBEACO.

The company which was mandated to act as the Royal Shurtter East African Countries, Uganda and Kenya on behalf of the Queen Victoria of England to exploit the “British Sphere of influence between Zarnzibar and Uganda”, openning a trade route between Lake Victoria, in Uganda and the coastal portal of Mombasa in Kenya.

Lugard, who departed on foot from Mombasa, traveled to Uganda to outcompete the German influence. Lugard upon reaching Uganda entered treaties entered treaties with local tribes and established treaties with them to ensure dominance of the British Empire in East Africa.

The establishment led to the formation of three main cities in Uganda namely; Entebbe; the Adminstrative City, Jinja; the Industrial City and Kampala; the commercial city.

Of all, Entebbe became the adminstrative enchole for Uganda with major installations such as the International airport, a state lodge – Entebbe, a Sea (Lake) Port such as Port Florence – Nakiwogo among others.

The Cities later on vannisshed as governments concetrated on the fusing of activities of all cities in the Central Business District of Kampala. All offices resorted to upscale, Kololo, Buganda road among other other major streets in Kampala while the Business area resorted Kikuubo and William Streets.

Industriies were all taken to the other sides of Kireka, Namuwongo, Luzira, Nateete and Kawempe surbubs of Kampala, leaving Jinja and Entebbe Cities out of touch with the required roles.

In June this year, government through Parliament approved the creation of 15 new cities including, Masaka, Jinja, Fort Portal, Gulu, Mbarara, Arua, Hoima, Entebbe inclusive.

With the reintroduction of Jinja and Entebbe cities, several stakeholders remain wondering how such places and elevation would impact towns such as Entebbe, Katabi, Kajjasi and Kasanje, and Bussi (Sub County) in Entebbe.

At the inception of reinstitution of Entebbe City, there was resistance from Wakiso District leaders, led by the Chairperson Matia Lwanga Bwanika Opposed such move suggesting that the creation of Wakiso City would be most ideal since the district had a strategic physical mater plan which Entebbe municipality never obtained.

However, on the premise of the strategic location of Entebbe and the tourism potential of the area and the nearby sub counties, Entebbe and Wakiso were all named cities. However, they will be operational in July 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Such cities will mainly base on Central Government Transfers, donor funding and Locally Generated Revenue to steer operations. Such operations include the repair and upgrade of all infrastructure projects within the area and the improvement of social welfare of the people living with Entebbe City.

Widening Tax Base

With the availability of Entebbe international airport, Entebbe remains strategically located to increase its tourism revenue and an increase in the number of related revenue amounting from Hotel tax, ground rend and taxes from tourism related expenditure.

However, Finance officers in the municipal council who deserve the vail of anonymity say, there is need to increase and widen the local revenue generation tax base which include the exploitation of other resources available within the approved boundatries of Entebbe Municipality.

Some of the sources in revenue generation include the collection of Landing fees from the more than 4000 boats within the major landing sites in Katabi, Entebbe Municipality, Kajjansi, Kasanje and Bussi areas.

Other sources of income include the tourism resources including Mabamba bird sacntuary, Ngamba Chimpazze santuary, Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Center, marine tourism opportunities.

In many instances in Local revenue collection, the Municipalities contracts stakeholders in the collection of local revenue. However, in such instances, the contractors under declare revenue collected leaving the local government institutions grappling with local revenue collections with a lot of duties to carry on.

John Ekudel, a member of the Local Revenue Enhancement Committee at the Ministry of Local Government says the Cities, to maximize the collection of revenue from the different local revenue enhance protocols use staff in the collection of such resources to ensure that they get enough to steer the development of new cities.

“We have tried that with local government units and sure that if Local Government staff such as those in Kalangala and Bukwo and realized we can maximize local revenue generation away from the use of contractors who declare much less than they are supposed to,” says Ekudel.

Such technics according to Kassim Lukyamuzi, a Local Revenue generation expert, would help cities improve local revenue generations which will greatly supplement the collection of resources such as Central Government Conditional and non conditional grants and Donations from other organizations.

Currently, the Town Clerk Entebbe Municipality Charles Magumba and the Technical team with in Entebbe Municipality are earmarking sources of revenue that would help Entebbe Municipality thrive by July 2022.

Cities which became effective by July first this year will utilize budgets drawn on behalf other municipalities they held by the passing of the 2020 – 2021 financial year. For Instance, Masaka City which was enlarged to take on Kingo and other Sub counties will remain operating with Ugx 42 billion Budget of the Municipality as passed this financial year.

The Minister for Local Government Rapheal Maygezi says, all recommendations to increase such budgets have been put in place but it remains with the Parliamentary and Cabinet discressions.

“We expect that each City will require more than Ugx 100 billion to take on. Entebbe City inclusive. It is however not our discression to pass such budgets but rather Parliament,” Magyezi says.

Andrew Otage, the President Municipal Development Foundation says, the visualization of Entebbe City is one that should be seen in the context of furthering the development of tourism and the improvement of other revenue collection avenues that would build Uganda’s gateway.

Some of the main sources of revenue include tax collection from tourism centers such as the Muzinga, children and other parks, first of the kind in Uganda, the availability of the Entebbe Zoo (Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Center), The First Parliament, School and church tourism based on the Kigungu first landing of the catholic missionaries Loudel Someone and Amans Delamns in 1879.

Politics

The creation of the city will also leave Entebbe with three Parliamentary Political Positions away from the one political position, the Entebbe Municipality MP seat. Other seats will include Entebbe A and B positions and that of the City Female representative.

Several Politicials have also come up to show interest for the City Mayorship. They include, Katabi Town Council Chairperson Ronald Kalema, Entebbe Mayor Vincent Kayanja and NRM’s Fabrice Lulinda among others.

With Bussi, Kasanje, Katabi merged with Entebbe Municipality, there will be less Divisiona and Town Council elections but more Parliamentary and Division Mayoral Elections.

“Lets focus on what unites Entebbe and what makes us a good city,” says Charles Magumba, the Entebbe Municipality MP.

Other Voices.

Rose Tumusiime – MP Entebbe Municipality

Rose Tumusiime

“I congratulate Entebbe upon the achievement, it has been a tough and long way which needs to be adopted and one that will see Entebbe attain further Horizons.”

entebbepost@gmail.com

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