Arua Councilors React Angrily to Budget Estimates

2094 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
Tabling the budget estimates today, Acema told the fully packed council that they will not undertake major development projects in the 2012/2013 financial year because of the financial crisis at the national level.

Arua district local government has cuts it budget from shillings 45 billion the last year financial year to shillings 42 billion this new financial year. Muzamil Acema, Arua district finance secretary says they revised the budget due to the reduction of funding from central government because of the financial crisis and high inflation in the country.

Tabling the budget estimates today, Acema told the fully packed council that they will not undertake major development projects in the 2012/2013 financial year because of the financial crisis at the national level.  According to the budget estimates shillings 31 billion will be spent on the wage bill with education taking the lion’s share of shillings 24 billion, health 4 billion, marketing and production 3 billion, while the natural resources and environment will get slightly above 2 billion shillings.

Only shillings 10 million has been earmarked for development projects. Acema appealed to the district council to minimize expenditures on workshop travels and address corruption to ensure the proper use of funds.

//Cue in: “There shall be strict…
Cue out…first be assessed.”//

Some of the councilors could not hide their anger despite the fact that they were not allowed to debate the budget, they described as a salary budget. Hamza Manzu, the councilor for Ogoko Sub County warned that the district council risks being seen as a giant for nothing if it does deliver services to residents. He accuses the technical officers in the finance department of corruption and frustrating their efforts to deliver services to the residents.

//Cue in: “our technical staffs hide…”
Cue out…officers have become robbers.”//

Florence Saru, the councilor representing Dadamu Sub County wondered why newly created districts curved out of Arua developing fast while the mother district lags behind. She called for action against politicians and civil servants who connive to embezzle money if the district is to develop.

//Cue in: “I pray that the paper will…”
Cue out…so let Arua grow.”//

Members of the public have also joined the councilors in condemning poor allocation of the budget to core sectors. Titia Kamure, a resident of Arua Municipality says that the biggest problem faced by residents is lack of food but says it is very disturbing to see the council only allocating 7.1 percent of the budget to the production sector. He says the budget would have made sense if the money didn’t include wages.

 

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.