Public expenditure on leaders to rise by Shs 160bn
The burden born by taxpayers to facilitate their leaders is expected to shoot up once some 510 new administrative units become operational.
At least 203 Town Councils and 198 Sub Counties were lined up to become operational this financial year with a budget of more than Shs 160bn which hasn’t been realised, thus holding back the schedule.
According to the State Minister for Local Governments Jeniffer Namuyangu, Shs160bn budget is meant to facilitate the operationalisation and recruitment of staff for new sub-counties, town councils and cities.
Appearing before Parliament’s committee on Local Governments and Public Service, Namuyangu said, of the Shs 160bn, more than Shs100bn will go to the 203 new Town Councils, while Shs29bn is planned for the 198 new sSub Counties while Shs 30bn is for the planned nine new cities.
Of this budget, Namuyangu said, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development released a paltry Shs 2bn which could not help much in funding the new Town Councils.
Nine municipalities of Fortportal , Mbarara, Gulu, Arua, Mbale, Hoima, Lira, Entebbe and Jinja are be elevated to city status as soon as government provides the funds, Namuyangu told the MPs.
Namuyangu also told the committee that government still needs more time to consult on the operationalization regional tier governments that Buliisa MP Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale is pushing for.
The committee is currently conducting hearings on Mukitale’s motion that seeks to compel government to table a Bill in Parliament for a law that will operationalise the regional tier system of government.
Since 2005, government has been making attempts to enforce the law on the regional tier system but the opposition from Mengo, the seat of the influential Buganda Kingdom has always forced the government to shy away from its implementation.
Buganda insists of a federal system as opposed to what is implied in Article 178 and the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.
Article 178 allows two or more districts in the same area to cooperate under one non-political administrative entity which Buganda fears that could weaken its influence.