UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Parliament had a sitting on 29th March 2022 chaired by the newly elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, to discuss the funds meant for the new local government units.
In that meeting, Members of Parliament tasked the government to immediately process funds meant to operationalise the new local government units that had been rendered redundant.
The Tororo District Woman Member of Parliament, Sarah Opendi raised the matter when she asked the government to explain the delayed disbursement of money to the newly created sub-counties and town councils when parliament passed a supplementary budget for that cause.
“You recall that the Supplementary Appropriation Bill was laid before this House and this House approved the supplementary expenditures. However, to date, the new administrative units have not received any funding,” Sarah Opendi said.
She added that for the past nine months, sub-county chairpersons in her district have not received any salary and funds to run their offices. She asked the Deputy Speaker whether parliament was right to ignore such a central matter when the financial year is almost closing.
“Is it procedurally right for us to receive these policy statements without knowing why funding had not been extended to local governments to run the new administrative units, yet we’re about to conclude this financial year?”
In response, Tayebwa said that the new local government units needed to receive money if the Parish Development Model (which replaced Emyooga funds) is to benefit the entire country. He noted that some sub-counties had already received money for the program and wondered how the new units would catch up.
“This is critical. We have already launched the Parish Development Model, and some districts have already received the money. What is the finance ministry doing? This is one of the most urgent issues,” said Tayebwa.
He also clarified that although parliament passed the government’s request to borrow money to finance the new administrative units in March 2022, the Committee of National Economy which is in charge of processing such requests was unable to meet due to the untimely death of the former speaker, Jacob Oulanyah.
The committee was tasked to urgently process the request and have the report ready by the next sitting.
The Minister of State for Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (General Duties), Henry Musasizi, responded that his ministry is currently constrained to finance the new local governments. He said the ministry’s hope is in the loan request set before the same committee.
“I would like to implore colleagues and stakeholders to be present with us,” added.
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