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Masaka Speaker Bows to Pressure, Steps Aside for Deputy

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Ntuwa said Minister Mwesige had given him a go ahead to convene this council meeting because the district was lagging behind in the budgeting process. He also allowed the councilors to discuss the budget before it is approved.
Masaka Chairman Joseph Kalungi debates during council meeting presided over by Deputy Speaker.
Masaka district councillors have finally convened to discuss the 2014/2015 budget estimates in council convened by deputy Speaker Gerald Ntuwa in the district speaker’s absence.

 

Since April this year, Masaka district councillors have been boycotting district councils convened by Phoebe Kyewalyanga, the Masaka district speaker.

 

The councillors led by Charles Zziwa of Nyendo-Ssenyange and Achilles Mawanda of Mukungwe want Kyewalyanga censured and removed from office.

 

The councillors accuse her of abuse of office, disrespect and corruption. The councillors’ corruption allegations stem from the failure by Kyewalyanga to implement a council resolution in which the councillors ordered the removal of Ddungu Tabula, the Masaka District Finance Secretary.

 

In 2013, the councillors resolved to sack Ddungu after it emerged that he had allegedly inflated the 2013/2014 budget estimates. As a result, councillors boycotted the five councils Kyewalyanga convened saying they no longer recognize her as their speaker.

 

The councillors also blocked the approval of 2014/2015 budget estimates from Masaka district. It took the intervention of Adolf Mwesige, the local government Minister last week who ordered Kyewalyanga to step aside so that her deputy takes over to approve the district budget.

On Friday, Gerald Ntuwa successfully convened this council where all councilors turned up save for Kyewalyanga.

Ntuwa said Minister Mwesige had given him a go ahead to convene this council meeting because the district was lagging behind in the budgeting process. He also allowed the councillors to discuss the budget before it was approved.

Kibra Ntensibe, the Masaka LC5 councilor representing Katwe-Butego division said although they had successfully managed to have the deputy take over, they will go ahead to censure Kyewalyanga.

 

Phoebe Kyewalyanga, the embattled Masaka district Speaker declined to comment on why she boycotted the council.

 

Joseph Kalungi, the Masaka district Chairman says he is happy councillors are back. He said now that they have started discussing the budget, the district will approve it despite the fact that they behind schedule.

 

Irayama Walter, the Masaka District Chief Finance Officer says the district will not be penalized for the delayed budget approval. He claims that since the financial year is still on, they are also still within time and therefore they will not suffer any sanctions.