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
// 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
// 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.