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Bukedea Councilors Boycott Budget Sitting Over Allowances

The councilors are protesting the meagre allowances, unfunded priorities in their areas and lack of coordination with sub county councils.
Empty Council seats in Bukedea.

Audio 4

The District Councilors in Bukedea have shunned the council meeting meant to approve the budget for the next Financial Year. 

The councilors are protesting meagre allowances, unfunded priorities in their constituencies and lack of coordination with sub county councils.

Friday’s council sitting was also meant to approve other complimentary budget documents like the Local Revenue Enhancement Plan, Performance Improvement Plan, Recruitment and Procurement Plan for FY 2022/2023. But the councilors, who turned up for the sitting remained outside council chambers until the Speaker, Juma Emong adjourned the house.

Phoebe Anyida, the Bukedea Town Council Woman representative said that she could not sit in council to pass the budget where majority of council members are all allocated only UGX 59 million as the executive pockets UGX 119 million. 

Anyida says that allocations for council sittings have remained at  105, 000 Shillingsper meeting against the increasing transport and commodity fares in the district.

She explains that they had recommended an increment from 300,000 Shillings to 400,000 per sitting but the executive and the technical people ignored their pleas.

// cue in “Our allowances are…//

Cue out…our allowances.”//

Simon Ongura, a councilor representing Kocheka sub county says that he was served with a notice of council meeting on Thursday, something he notes was deliberate to fail members from scrutinizing the budget.  He adds that the lower local government councils have not approved their budgets for it to be integrated into the district budget.

// cue in “The executive initiates…//

Cue out…to be integrated”//

Some of the councilors claim that their allowances money have been earmarked for paying off 446 million Shillings to the former entomologist, Michael Oluka, who dragged the district to court for failing to pay his salary as a principle entomologist when he was promoted. 

Benjamin Icomit, the councilor representing Kabarwa Sub County says that although they acknowledge the challenge, councilors allowances should not be the only target to offset the debt.

// cue in “The budget is favouring…//

Cue out…to scrap it off.”//

Juma Emong, the District Council Speaker blames the councilors for failing to use proper channels to address their issues. According to Emong, boycotting council session doesn’t help but rather prolongs issues that should have been addressed in the council session.

// cue in “If you boycott…//

Cue out…outside.”//