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Arua District Fails to Pay UGX 690M to Retired Staff

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According to Eswelu, they failed to collect sufficient local revenue because of the low revenue base. He revealed that revenue collection in the district dropped from over Shillings 1Billion to Shillings 426Million, which he attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and creation of Terego district and Arua City hence denying them some sources of revenue.
Jude Mark Bukenya the new Chief Administrative Officer of Arua district (l) receiving handover reports from Donath Eswelu at the district headquarters.

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Arua district local government is grappling with a shortage of Shillings 699 million to clear the gratuity and pensions of staff who retired in the 2020/2021 financial year. Donath Eswelu, the outgoing Arua Chief Administrative Officer revealed this during the handover of office to his successor, Jude Mark Bukenya. 

Records indicate that over 50 staff from various departments retired after clocking the mandatory 65-year retirement age last financial year.  The majority of the retirees are in the education department. According to Eswelu, they failed to collect sufficient local revenue because of the low revenue base.

He revealed that revenue collection in the district dropped from over Shillings 1Billion to Shillings 426Million, which he attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and creation of Terego district and Arua City hence denying them some sources of revenue.  Eswelu tasked his successor to look for funds to pay the retired civil servants their packages.   

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Alfred Okuonzi, the LC 5 chairman Arua noted that the performance indicators of the district have been below average, which translates into a shortage of funds. According to Okuonzi all revenue performance indicators for Arua district have turned red, saying they have to work hard to change the status quo.  

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Festus Ayikobua, the Arua Resident District Commissioner said staff abscondment from duty has partly contributed to the underperformance of the district, adding that there is need for more effective supervision of residual staff to ensure they perform their roles in revenue enhancement.   

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Jude Mark Bukenya, the new Arua Chief Administrative Officer who was posted from Wakiso district called for cooperation and teamwork from the heads of department and all staff so as to change the performance indicators for the better.  Bukenya also warned staff against gossip and rumour-mongering, saying they undermine their efforts to achieve the goals of the district.  

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Donath Eswelu, who has been transferred to Amolatar District, served Arua district with 1,030 staff members for the last two and a half years since he was posted on December 28th 2018. Jude Mark Bukenya is the second CAO posted to Arua district in less than two months after the first one Simon Peter Kandole succumbed to COVID- 19 before taking over office.