Parliament on Thursday resolved to reject a motion tabled by the Minister of State for Planning David Bahati which sought to re-allocate funds in the financial year 2020/2021 budget to operationalize the newly created cities.
Parliament on Thursday resolved to reject a motion
tabled by the Minister of State for Planning David Bahati which sought to
re-allocate funds in the financial year 2020/2021 budget to operationalize the newly
On 28th April, Parliament approved the creation
of 15 new cities. Out of these, a total of 10 became operational on 1st
July 2020 and these include Masaka, Jinja, Mbale, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Fort
Portal, Mabarara, Soroti and Hoima.
The other cities including Entebbe, Moroto,
Nakasongola, Kabale and Wakiso will come into effect in 2023. However, the
creation of these cities did not come with a budget raising questions about
government’s funding plan.
said that his motion sought to reallocate funds since the financial year 2020/2021
had been approved by parliament before the new cities became operational. He
said that money that was allocated to Municipalities were the new cities are
needed to be diverted.
Minister said that Fort Portal Municipality had been allocated Shillings 21.6
billion, Arua Shillings 26 billion, Jinja Shillings 35 billion, Mbale 42.6
billion and others.
According to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga,
the Minister’s motion could not amend the Appropriation Act for the current
financial year. She said that the Ministry of Finance needed to first table before
parliament a law to facilitate the creation of authorities for the new cities
and also an amendment to the Appropriation Act.
She also said that Parliament had not been availed
with the list of accounting officers for the new cities who would be
accountable for the funds once provided.
//Cue in: “you cannot amend…
Cue out:…after this money.”//
Kadaga emphasized the need for government to follow
the law and not to just present a motion.
//Cue in: “I want to…
Cue out:…for those cities.”//
Speaker’s statement followed opposition from MPs across the political divide
who demanded a clear process for the operationalisation of the new cities.
South MP Felix Okot Ogong raised a procedural matter questioning whether a
motion could reallocate funds in the budget.
in: “I need to…
out:…follow the law.”//
Niwagaba, the Shadow Attorney General also wondered whether government had dissolved
the existing municipalities which were created under the Local Government Act.
in: “the clarification I…
out:…of those municipalities.”//
insisted that the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) allows parliament to authorize
the Minister of Finance to re-allocate funds. However, Kadaga insisted that the
Minister needs the Appropriation Act to provide funds for the new cities.