Luweero district council has approved a proposal to buy a new vehicle for the LC V chairman worth shillings 120 million and increase the councilor’s seating allowances. This comes at a time when the council is grappling with low local revenue collection. Luweero district local government expects to collect 287 million shillings in local revenue compared to shillings 272 million collected last year. The entire district budget approved by council is 33.8 billion shillings.
According to the estimates the district plans to spend 50 million shillings from the local revenue collection on the councilor’s seating allowances and 40 million shillings on the purchase of the chairman’s vehicle. The district will borrow a loan of shillings 80 million to top up the money to acquire the shillings 120 million car for the LC V chairman. The remaining money from the local revenue collection will be spent on administrative costs. Richard Bwabye, the district finance and planning secretary says that they decided to revise the councilors seating allowance from 300,000 to 370,000 shilling to enable them carry out their supervisory roll of government programs efficiently.
He says that the absence of close supervision of government programs is affecting service delivery to residents. But a section of councilors and residents have reacted angrily to the approved budget expenditure saying it is wasteful and disregards key areas. Deborah Nalubega, the councilor for People With Disabilities almost shade tears when council only allocated 2 million shillings to activities of the group. She pleaded with fellow councilors to allocate more funds from the revenue collection for the recruitment of special needs teachers in vain.
Nalubega accused fellow councilors of discriminating against PWDs, saying the approved is of no use to the group. Sarah Namuyanja, the councilor for Butuntumula Sub County said that more than 80 farmers in her area are crying foul after the sub accountant fled with 46 million shillings under Local Government Management and Service Delivery-LGMSD program.
Namuyanja says that she wanted the council to divert part of the money allocated to buying a new vehicle for the chairperson to compensate the farmers who are stuck and investigate the theft of their money.
Samuel Ssewanyana, a resident of Kasana in Luweero town council faults the district for allocating a huge sum of money to buy a new vehicle for the chairman leaving out key areas like the repair of boreholes to address the problem of water scarcity. Ssewanyana also challenged council to think ways of raising local revenue collections instead of increasing the councilor’s seating allowance.
But Christopher Kyomya, the Chief Administrative Officer Luweero defended the decision to buy a new vehicle for the chairman saying he is entitled to transport. He however said there is need to address the problem of local revenue collection by identifying sources of revenue and cover the gaps in collection.