Koena Sub County Fails to Pass Budget

Tavuga Mubarak, the sub-county chairperson of Koena faults the technical wing in the sub-county for the delayed submissions of the budget.
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Koena Sub County in Bukedea District has failed to pass this financial year’s budget. The new sub-county which was carved from Kidongole started operations in 2018.

According to the budgetary guidelines, local governments are required to approve their budget estimates by May 31st, a month to the end of the financial year. The approved budgets at local governments are supposed to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development by mid-June for the final performance contract.

Tavuga Mubarak, the sub-county chairperson of Koena faults the technical wing in the sub-county for the delayed submissions of the budget.

Tavuga, who is demanding accountability from his accounting officer, Sarah Aliano for the last two financial years says that councillors have been asking the technical staff to provide budget estimates and work plans for approval in vain. He adds that the concerns for the budget estimates and work plans arose with the old council but Aliano, who is the Assistance Chief Administrative Officer of Koena, ignored them.

Tavuga claims that Aliano sabotages most of the activities and plans in the sub-county. 

He singled out the construction of the slaughter slab whose money was diverted to road works.

Aliano is also faulted for reportedly collecting local revenue without issuing receipts, which has affected the performance of local revenue in the sub-county.

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Eunice Asio, the Speaker of Koena Sub County Council wants the issues of the sub-county investigated. She says that from the time they assumed offices, no clear explanation has been given to members of the council even before the lockdown was announced by the president.

When contacted, Aliano declined to comment on the matter. However, the Chief Administrative Officer of Bukedea, Maira Joseph Mukasa, said that he was not aware of the failed approval and passing of the budget.

Aliano later explained that the delay in the budget approval was caused by changes in Discretionary Development Grant- DEG for sub-counties that first indicated 73 million shillings’ allocation to Koena.

She says the new indicative planning figures given to the sub-county later came in just days to the lockdown, which she notes couldn’t allow the council to convene to approve the budget.

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Ambrose Omagor, the community activist on governance and service delivery which focuses on accountability and transparency in Bukedea district says that there has been a communication gap between the political and technical leadership of the Sub County. He says that there could be connivance amongst leaders to deny residents of the sub-county services that they deserve.

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In his July 2nd, 2021 letter to the accounting officers, Patrick Ocailap, the Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance warned that all the government institutions which have not submitted their budget estimates will not receive funds for the first quarter.

However, while Koena may be struggling, Bukedea district has also had issues in its budgetary performances. For instance, the Auditor General Report of 2020 indicates that the district had submitted the four quarterly performance reports after the set deadline.