Officials from the Office of the Prime Minister-
OPM had a tough time explaining salary discrepancies and regular local government budget cuts during their visit to
Soroti. Both District and City Council authorities said that that they are struggling to serve their communities due to unexplained budget cuts and low morale among civil servants due to salary discrepancies.
The officials had a rare opportunity when OPM officials came to the
ground to inquire about the
issues affecting service delivery. Both the technical and political leaders in
the district and city said
that their performance is affected by central government releases that
sometimes don’t favour the development
of projects undertaken by the entities.
Luke Lokuda, the Soroti Chief Administrative Officer, said that the budget cuts have caused a huge gap in
service delivery, especially on road
works. Citing their annual budget for road works, Lokuda said that instead of
the proposed Shillings 6 billion budget, the district only received Shillings 800 million from the central government last
Lokuda said that this quarter alone, the district only received Shillings 56million out of the Shillings 219 million planned for the road works. He notes that the money cannot even
pay road gangs for three months and yet the line ministries have not provided any explanation to the
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Robert Kairu, the Soroti City Engineer, says that under the Uganda Road Fund, the
Indicative Planning Figures- IPFs for City was Shillings 1.2 billion but the city received less than Shillings 700 million. Kairu adds that out of Shillings 901 Million planned for road works in this
Financial Year, the city has only received
million for the last two quarters, something he notes is failing the planned
road works in the new city.
According to Kairu, there is an uproar from the
community over the poor state of roads yet his office is incapacitated to do anything. He told OPM officials
that besides the budget cuts, the city has no road equipment to enable works on the 323kilometers of roads in the city.
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On the other hand, the officials raised the problem of salary discrepancies as one of the major
factors affecting service delivery in local governments. Lokuda said that
whereas he appreciates government initiatives in promoting science and
technology in the country, the other sectors shouldn’t be undermined for
effective service delivery.
Citing the engineering departments at the Uganda
National Roads Authority- UNRA and the engineers employed in the local
governments, Lokuda said that the salary discrepancies lower the morale of
staff working to deliver services to the community.
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Paul Omer, the Soroti City East Division Mayor
asked the government
to streamline operations, especially with the local governments. He apportioned
blame to the accounting officers for the laxity in the implementation of
government programs under the
guise of being transferable.
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Dr. Julius Okello, the team leader and head of
in the OPM delivery unit, said
that the budgetary cuts are a result of COVID-19 effects on the economy. Okello, who was leading the team
in Soroti was forced to call his senior colleagues to help answer questions
raised by the local
He also noted that the government is undertaking salary
enhancement discussions with the line ministries and departments to have the