Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola district LC V chairperson, explains that the delay in fund utilization stems from confusion regarding whether to use the money for rehabilitation, as suggested by the Ministry of Works, or for routine maintenance, as directed by Parliament.
Districts in Greater
Luwero are yet to fully utilize the Shillings 250 million allocated for road
works in the first quarter of the financial year 2023/24. In April of this
year, Parliament approved a resolution granting each district Shillings one
billion for road maintenance, with the funds managed by the Uganda Road Fund.
The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and
Economic Development disbursed Shillings 250 million to each district as part
of this grant in the first quarter of the financial year 2023/24. However, as
of now, authorities in the Luwero, Nakaseke, and Nakasongola districts have not
fully utilized the funds resulting from the rainy season leaving the roads impassable.
Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola district LC V
chairperson, explains that the delay in fund utilization stems from confusion
regarding whether to use the money for rehabilitation, as suggested by the
Ministry of Works, or for routine maintenance, as directed by Parliament.
notes that if the district opts for rehabilitation, as suggested by the
Ministry of Works, only a few kilometers of the 530-kilometer road network
would be improved, leaving the majority of roads impassable. He says that they await
further guidance from the Road Fund, which manages the grant, to utilize the
funds for routine maintenance and address more kilometers of the roads.
in: “The proposal was…
Cue out;…financial year.’’//
// Cue in: “Kakati one billion…
Cue out;…twatandika nokola,”//
As Nakasongola experiences delays, several
roads have become impassable due to the onset of rains, leaving farmers
stranded with agricultural produce. Some of the severely affected roads include
Ntuuti-Nabutaka, and Kalungi-Kawonde, among others.
In Luwero, the situation is also critical on
Erastus Kibirango, the LC 5 Chairman, explains that they are
awaiting the convening of the District Road Committee to resolve how to utilize
the funds in accordance with Parliament's guidance. “The Parliament already resolved that we use the
money for maintenance of roads and we shall follow that guidance. We have only
delayed because the DRC chaired by area Members of Parliament is yet to discuss
how to spend it,” Kibirango said.
In Nakaseke, Benjamin Makanga, the District
Secretary for Works, states that the District Road Committee has convened and
resolved to utilize the funds to rehabilitate two roads, namely
Rwesindizi-Kijumba-Buwanku and Kikubanyimba-Kamuli-Mulungu road. Additionally,
77 million shillings will be spent on repairing the road unit. Makanga emphasizes that the Parliament's role
should be to allocate funds and supervise their utilization rather than
deciding how the funds should be spent.
In August of this year, the Speaker of
Parliament, Anita Among, warned local governments against defying Parliament's
resolutions on fund utilization. Parliament had changed the grant from a
Rehabilitation Development Grant to a Road Maintenance Grant, citing the
disbursal of funds to local governments without proper guidelines.