Delayed Approval of Ordinances Irks Districts

1410 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Moses Mugisa, the Finance Secretary Kyenjojo town council says the delayed approval of the ordinance has hindered development of the town council and affected revenue collection, since 80 percent of the structures built in the town council do not have approved plans.

Bundibugyo and Kyenjojo districts are failing to implement several bylaws and ordinances due to the delayed approval by the Attorney General. The Local Government Act empowers district councils to enact bylaws.
 
 
However, the local governments are expected to submit the bylaws to the Local Government Minister and Attorney General to be harmonized with the constitution before they are enforced.



Last year, Kyenjojo district council passed an ordinance to improve the revenue base by collecting fees from building assessment, submission of plans and structural drawings. The income would bridge the financial gap that resulted from the abolition of graduated tax.

 
Under the ordinance, each person planning to construct a house is supposed to pay Shillings 3,000 as assessment fee for each square meter on the planned construction. However, the ordinance can't be implemented because the Local Government Ministry and the Attorney General are yet to approve and gazette the laws.
 
 
Moses Mugisa, the Finance Secretary Kyenjojo town council says the delayed approval of the ordinance has hindered development of the town council and affected revenue collection, since 80 percent of the structures built in the town council do not have approved plans. 
 
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In June, Bundibugyo district council passed the food security ordinance, which sought to compel farmers in the district to engage in food production as opposed to only focusing on cocoa growing. However, the local leaders say they can't enforce the ordinance the Attorney General hasn't responded yet.
 
Benjamin Kugonza, the Bundibugyo District Production Department coordinator, notes that sub counties are increasingly becoming food insecure since a larger portion of their land is being used for cocoa production.

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The local leaders have however not given up on their quest to promote food security in households. Kugonza says they are currently sensitizing the communities on the need to grow food crops.

But Moses Mwesige, a Legal Officer in the Regional Office of the Attorney General based in Mbarara, says that some ordinances take long to be ratified because the office receives ordinances from different districts and municipal councils in the region.

He also says that some local governments propose harsh punishments to offenders and so the Attorney General's office is forced to return the bylaw for amendments.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.