February 27, 2024

744 town councils, sub-counties to start

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Local Government minister Raphael Magyezi recently said due to insufficient funds, the central government had resolved to stop creating new administrative units. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Funding gap. In September, Local Government minister Mr Raphael Magyezi said due to insufficient funds, the central government had resolved to stop creating new administrative units.
  • ‘‘This was a policy decision to halt any further creation of administrative units until the existing ones are fully functional,’’ he said.
  • Most of the newly-created administrative structures have had elections for their representatives, both in Parliament and the lower local levels. And for the lower local levels, most of them are yet to construct their offices.

The government is set to operationalize 774 newly-created town councils and sub-counties across the country effective mid-November.

The State minister of Local Government, Ms Victoria Businge Rusoke, made the confirmation last Friday while addressing the district council of Kabarole.

She said Cabinet approved Shs29 billion as startup fund. Each town council and sub-county will be given some funds to recruit new staff to enable it to start functioning.

“A total of 774 both town councils and sub-counties in the recent elections were able to elect leaders, but they don’t have technical staff and the Ministry of Local Government submitted a supplementary budget and it has been approved. 

“They will each receive start up fund and part of the funds will be for recruiting staff,” Ms Rusoke said.

She said the delay to operationalise the new administrative units was because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kabarole chairperson, Mr Richard Rwabuhinga, said they have two new town councils and one sub-county that lack staff.  “Currently in our new administrative units, we have a skeleton staff, but now I am happy that the government is going to send us money to recruit new staff,” he said.

The new administrative units include Kasenda and Rwengaju town councils and Kibatsi Su-county.

The chairperson of Kasenda Town Council, Mr Wilber Byamukama, said the town council was carved out of Kasenda Sub-county in 2017 and since then, they have been struggling to render services to people.

He said for the 2021/2022 Financial Year, they passed a budget of 232 million, but they have been depending on local revenue of  about Shs18 million to run the town council.

“The government only gave us Shs50 million to build the town council headquarters, which is incomplete up to now. We have made four budgets since 2017 and none of them was funded. Currently, we depend on some investors who give us some funds,’’ he said.

Source: Daily Monitor

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