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Irregular Subscription Threatens ULGA

The total annual receipts from district collections as at June 2018 only stood at Shillings 212, 749,998 leaving an outstanding balance of Shillings 514, 750,002. The association only received 24 percent of the total projected annual subscriptions from both districts and sub counties last financial year.
Gertrude Rose Gamwera, the ULGA Secretary General presenting the secretariat report to Karamoja leaders in Napak.

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Uganda Local Government Association- ULGA, the umbrella body of all local governments in the country is struggling to operate due to irregular subscription by members.  Founded in 1994, ULGA's main objective is to promote unity and efficiency of local governments in Uganda.

Each sub county and district is expected to pay annual subscription fees to the ULGA Secretariat to facilitate its operations and staff remuneration at the secretariat. However, for the past years, the association has been recording very low subscription fees from members. 

Since the beginning of this financial year, ULGA Secretariat has only received Shs. 458,409,221 about 10% of the projected budget of more than Shillings 5.5 billion from all sources of funding.  The association has accumulated debts worth more than Shillings 2.7 billion. The secretariat demands over Shillings 6 billion in arrears from subscription over the years.

Gertrude Rose Gamwera, the ULGA Secretary General, says the irregular subscription has affected many activities including the daily operations of the secretariat.  She told local government leaders in Napak last week that four of her staff at the secretariat including the Deputy Secretary General resigned due to irregular salary payment and uncertainty. 

"Whereas we currently have 13 staff in post, we are seriously grappling with the issues of raising their remuneration. ULGA is accumulating increasing indebtedness from this function" part of the status report from the Secretary General on the current secretariat operations and activities of ULGA reads.

The association has also received threats from service providers, especially Security companies over none payment for services. Construction of the ULGA House Project that started more than ten years back has stalled. "For over ten years now, we have not registered any additional contributions from local governments as owners of the property despite formal requests to do so. As a result, the outstanding contract sums continued to accrue interest raising our level of indebtedness to the contractor to a total amount of over one billion shillings," Gamwera added in her report.

The total annual receipts from district collections as at June 2018 only stood at Shillings 212, 749,998 leaving an outstanding balance of Shillings 514, 750,002. The association only received 24 percent of the total projected annual subscriptions from both districts and sub counties last financial year. 

George Mutabaazi, the ULGA President says the subscription to the association has dwindled due to several challenges in local governments. 

// cue in "We are in debts…

Cue out…continue to fight"//

But Felix Mark Lochaale, the Kaabong District Speaker observes that existence of numerous bodies within local government establishments are the ones frustrating ULGA progress and financial stability.

"While ULGA takes care of all local government establishments, there are bodies for CAOs, CFOs, Internal Auditors and Speakers among others that also need money. How can a CAO or CFO prioritize ULGA when their associations also demand? We need some discussion on this issues, otherwise, things might worsen" Lochaale said.

While members had earlier resolved to have the subscription money to the association deducted from the ministry of finance, the process flopped with new changes in the finance management.