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Lira City Councilors Raise Concern over Reduced Ex-Gratia

According to the Local Government Act, City councilors are entitled to a monthly allowance (ex- gratia) of 250,000 Shillings, while the City Division councilors 175,000 Shillings and 35,000 Shillings for Town Council and Municipal Division Chairpersons.

Audio 5

Councilors from Lira City East and West Division have raised concerns about the reduction of their ex- gratia.

According to the Local Government Act, City councilors are entitled to a monthly allowance (ex- gratia) of 250,000 Shillings, while the City Division councilors 175,000 Shillings and 35,000 Shillings for Town Council and Municipal Division Chairpersons.

However, the 94 councilors; 52 from City West and 42 from City East division argue that throughout the last Financial Year 2021/2022, they were being paid only 35,000 shillings per month instead of 175,000 Shillings.

Tom Oyia, a councilor representing Boroboro West Ward in Lira City East Division argues that they have a lot of responsibilities that cannot be met by the inadequate money they are being given.  Oyia says for a long time they have written to the town clerk demanding an explanation but there has been no response.

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John Morris Ebong, the councilor Omito Ward Lira City West Division says the money he was receiving is not even half of what he is supposed to receive every month.

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Judith Acen a female councilor representing Ireda West Ward at Lira City East Division accused the city authorities of diverting part of their ex-gratia to facilitate their development instead of giving it to the councilors.

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Patrick Ogweng, the Lira City Deputy Clerk attributes the claims to the transitional challenges that Lira city is undergoing from the time it was elevated to city status saying a number of releases in terms of funds are still under the municipality and yet government acknowledges Lira as a City.

Ogweng however, says efforts are being made to rectify the challenges and urged the councilors to be patient.

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Justinian Niwagaba, the Commissioner of Urban Administration at the Ministry of Local Government, says that the two divisions were budgeted for as Municipal divisions instead of a City Division.

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Recently, the Ministry of Local government noted that some Local Government accounting officers do not follow the prescribed government rates for councilors' allowances saying that they pay over and above the allowances whereas in others, the pay is smaller than the budgeted figure.

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