Councilors under a newly formed National Local Government Councilors Association (NALCA) are demanding for an improved welfare to match service delivery at the grass roots level. The formation of NALCA is meant to inform government about the urgent need to address the welfare of local government councilors and address their quest for fair play, equity and fairness in governance.
Councilors under a newly formed National Local Government Councilors Association (NALCA) are demanding for an improved welfare to match service delivery at the grass roots level.
The councilors meeting in Kampala state that the poor state of their welfare is the thorn in the feet. They oppose suggestions that there are insufficient funds to facilitate local government councilors to perform their duties.
The formation of NALCA is meant to inform government about the urgent need to address the welfare of local government councilors and address their quest for fair play, equity and fairness in governance.
Namaganda Sylvia, a woman councilor from Buyende district says she earns 200,000 shillings per month and an additional 20,000 for every council meeting once a month. She says this money is too little to facilitate her movement within the sub county.
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Local government councilors appropriate resources to enable local governments operate and monitor the efficiency and effectiveness in which budgets and plans are implemented.
Businge Prosper from Kabarole blames the inefficiency in local government on the low levels of education and understanding of some councilors. He notes that most councilors are not educated enough to supervise technocrats who undermine the oversight role of the councilors.
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They also call on government to ensure district public accounts committees are nominated from the councilors as is the practice in Parliament since the technocrats who undermine them are the culprits in audit reports.
They also note that government policy formulation processes are more centralized that councilors rarely find opportunity to submit their ideas.
The Councilors add that programmes such as NAADS, have lost direction because they are never consulted which makes it difficult for them to communicate these policies to the public.
The Interim NALCA chairperson, Umar Muhanguzi, says the formation of NALCA is because the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) was not forwarding their problems.
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Josephine Kasya, the Vice President ULGA, however, warned against formation of organisations on individual basis. She promised that councilors’ problems will be addressed at a scheduled meeting with President Yoweri Museveni in March.
Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament while officiating at the launch assured the councilors that the 9th Parliament will support them through the Parliamentary outreach programme which is expected to sit four times in one year in different regions in the country.
She also promised that after consultations, the next financial budget will also focus on improvement of the councilors’ welfare and streamline their activities.