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Luweero Chairperson in Trouble over UGX 8 Million Loan

Despite the fact the money was spent to work on roads in the town council, Muluuta Mugagga, the Luweero town clerk and Chief Administrative Oficer Christopher Kyomya have ordered Ssebyala to pay back the loan from his pocket.

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Charles Ssebyala, the LC 3 chairperson of Luweero town council is in trouble for acquiring a loan on behalf of the town council without authorization. In November 2012, Ssebyala obtained a loan of 5.2 million shillings from local businessmen to fuel tractors from Uganda National Roads Authority-Luweero station to rehabilitate the road network in the town council. The loan was supposed to attract 20% interest each month. Now, the money has accumulated to eight million shillings.

The roads that were worked on include Bunyaka, Kazinga, Kizito Nsubuga, Yawe, Pump IV, Orthodox, Kizito road amongst others. Despite the fact the money was spent to work on roads in the town council, Muluuta Mugagga, the Luweero town clerk and Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Kyomya have ordered Ssebyala to pay back the loan from his pocket. They accuse Ssebyala of acquiring the loan in disregard to procedure. Muluuta Mugagga, the Luweero town clerk says that in addition to interest loan being high, the LC 3 chairperson didn't consult his office.

Mugaagga says that he tried to inquire about the terms of the loan and advise Ssebyala but he instead assaulted him and ordered him to pay back the money. Muluuta says that he has petitioned the Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Kyomya to advise him on the matter. But Kyomya says the Chairperson secured the loan without following the procedures laid down in the local government financial act. According to Kyomya, the act bars any town council or district authority from borrowing money without authorization from the local government minister.

 

Kyomya argues that since the chairperson acquired the money in disregard to procedure, he should repay the debt from his own pocket. But Charles Ssebyala insists that he can’t repay the debt from his pocket because the money was spent on the town council activities.

 

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Councilors and residents are excited about the road works, saying it was done cheaply. They accuse the town clerk of refusing to pay back the loan because of the power struggles pitying him against the LC 3 chairperson. Paul Mukungu, one of the councilors says several town council officials were present when Ssebyala was receiving the loan and wonders why the town clerk is turning around to claim that his office was not consulted.  He blames the entire problem on the power struggles between the office of the LC chairperson and Town clerk.

Mukungu appeals to Adolf Mwesigye, the local government minister to address the dispute before the situation gets out of hand. The conflict between Mugagga and Ssebyala started in February last year following allegations of financial impropriety against the town clerk. Councilors passed a resolution asking the CAO to remove Mugagga from office. However, Kyomya stayed the decision awaiting findings from a special audit by auditor general and district public accounts committee.

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