A section of Parliamentarians has tasked the Government to explain the delayed disbursement of money to the newly created sub-counties and town councils yet Parliament passed a supplementary budget to support the activity.
The MPs demanded that the Government expeditiously processes funds meant to operationalise the new local government units.
The demands arose from a matter of national importance raised by Tororo district woman MP, Sarah Opendi, during the Parliament sitting of Tuesday, 29 March 2022, over the failure by the Government to fund new administrative units despite Parliament passing a Supplementary Budget.
Opendi said that the new local government units had been rendered redundant due to a lack of the said Funding. She told Parliament that sub-county chairpersons in her district have not received any salary and funds to run their offices for the past nine months.
She appealed to the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, to intervene by directing the Minister to have the newly created administrative units receive the said funds especially now that the Financial Year is coming to an end.
At the start of the 2019/2020 financial year, 7 new districts, namely Karega, Rwampara, Obongi, Kalaki, Madi-Okollo, Kitagwenda and Kazo became operational. This increased the total number of districts to 134. In addition, 352 town councils (TCs) and 364 sub-counties were created during the past 3 years.
On Tuesday, 28 April 2020, Parliament approved the creation of 15 new cities in Uganda, in line with Article 179(1) (A) of the Constitution on alteration of boundaries and Section 7 (2a) of the Local Governments Act CAP.243 on the declaration of cities.
The new cities were to be operationalised in clusters beginning 1st July 2020, through to July 2023 with Jinja, Mbarara, Gulu, Mbale, Arua, Fort Portal and Masaka taking effect with the new Financial Year 2020/2021.
The second cluster of cities was to be operationalised by 1st July 2021 were Hoima, Lira and Soroti, followed by Entebbe which would take effect as a city on 1 July 2022; and the last cluster will be Moroto, Nakasongola, Kabale and Wakiso cities that will be operationalised on 1st July 2023.
Tayebwa in response underscored the need to have the new administrative units financed given their critical role in implementing the Parish Development Model.
He, however, 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 had not met due to the death of the former Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah.
The Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (General Duties), Henry Musasizi, also in response to the matter raised, said that his ministry is currently constrained to finance the new local governments. He appealed to MPs and the general public to be patient with Government.