Mbarara City Council has unveiled a five-year development plan. The plan was developed by Action Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE).
According to the plan, the City will focus on improving the education sector through the construction of 70 classrooms at 18 primary schools, three-unit staff houses in nine primary schools, and others.
In the health sector, five Health Centre IIs will be upgraded to Health Centre IIIs, three Health Centre IIIs upgraded to Health Centre IV and the existing Health Centre IV will be upgraded to a City Hospital.
Others in the plan include the paving of new roads, rehabilitation and routine maintenance of streetlights, job creation through agro – industrialization, value addition for increased household incomes, and the creation of an industrial hub.
Launching the plan on Thursday, the Minister for Local Government Raphael Magyezi asked the city leaders to consider reviewing the development plan since its launch is behind schedule. Implementation of the plan was supposed to start in 2021.
Magyezi asked the leaders to revise, identify and give priorities to areas that can be achieved in a period of three years.
“it is not only your city, but it is also the regional city of greater Ankole, and the neighboring countries like Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania, look at that big hinterland to focus this development plan,” Magyezi said
He asked the leaders to evaluate the past three years that were not covered by the development Plan and work with the community.
Asse Abirebe Tumwesigye, the Mbarara City Town Clerk said the development plan was formulated to ensure it is in line with the National Development Plan III objectives.
According to Tumwesigye, more than 200 billion Shillings is required to fund the implementation of the plan with 83 percent expected from the central government and 14 percent from locally raised revenue.
Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the Mbarara City Mayor attributed the delays in developing the plan to logistical challenges.
He expressed concern that despite having the development plan in place there is still inadequate funding for critical infrastructure like Roads, Education, and other service delivery areas.
Arthur Bainomugisha, the Executive Director of ACODE decried the lack of planning in local governments noting that the budgeting process is always done without proper planning statistics.
But Godfrey Tumusiime, Mbarara South Division Speaker and Councilor representing Kicwamba ward said that during the formulation of the plan, the divisions of South, North, and the residents were not consulted.