The performance in local governments was affected when districts downscaled their activities and reduced the number of workers as the country partially shut down in March 2020 to contain a lethal virus which had started paralyzing the world.
Local governments in Teso region are struggling to utilize the funds budgeted for during the 2019/2020 financial year as a result of interruption in the implementation of various planned activities by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The performance in local governments was affected when districts downscaled their activities and reduced the number of workers as the country partially shut down in March 2020 to contain a lethal virus which had started paralyzing the world. The move has come with financial implications to local governments as the new financial year draws closer.
The Public Finance Management Act dictates that budget expenditure for the financial year expires and ceases to have any effect after June 30, which marks the end of the financial year. As a result, districts in Teso are likely to return more than 30 per cent of the funds disbursed to their respective districts.
Ngora district chairperson, Ben Eumu notes that there was a lot of restriction at the centre with the districts only allowed to pay service providers, yet the lockdown also affected all avenues for local revenue collection.
According to Eumu, even after advertising for jobs, they could not conduct interviews especially for teachers and other cadres because of the lockdown yet the district is in critical need of human resources. He explains that several activities like construction works, recruitment of teachers and others have been affected by the lockdown.
//Cue in; “We also want to...
Cue out...going back.”//
Soroti Municipality Mayor Paul Omer told URN that the Municipality is returning five billion Shillings meant for road works and security lights under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development projects funded by the World Bank.
//Cue in; “The five billion...
Cue out...is delaying.”//
Soroti District Planner Richard Oboi told our reporter that the lockdown affected a plan for drilling boreholes, construction of a Seed School and Classroom blocks in different schools across the district. He notes that although he cannot tell how much money might be returned to the treasury, the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected the implementation of many projects in the district.
But Nasser Mukiibi, the Chief Administrative Officer of Kapelebyong says the district's Budget performance was already at 80 per cent with all the capital projects under construction in the final stages. He, however, notes that much as Universal Primary and Secondary Education funds have been sent to schools, he has halted its expenditure until schools reopen.