Local Leaders Question Rational of Spending UGX15B On ID Sensitization Workshops

1916 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
. James Saaka, the Executive Director of National Information Technology Authority Uganda-NITA-U disclosed that 15 billion of the 285 billion shillings has been allocated for the sensitization program.

Several leaders in Greater Masaka region are questioning the rationale behind the decision by government to spend 15 shillings on conducting sensitization workshops around the country on the national identity cards. Last year, parliament approved over 285 billion shillings for the national identity card project ahead of the 2016 general elections.

The national identity card project is being implemented by the internal affairs ministry in collaboration with Electoral Commission and Uganda Bureau of Statistics. This week, the Internal Affairs Ministry launched the countrywide sensitization workshops to popularize and educate local leaders about the national identity card project. James Saaka, the Executive Director of National Information Technology Authority Uganda-NITA-U disclosed that 15 billion of the 285 billion shillings has been allocated for the sensitization program.
According to Saaka, they plan to hold several workshops and meeting across the country to ensure that all Ugandans get to know about the identity card project. He says the money will be used to pay out allowances, accommodation and hotel bills amongst other expenditures.

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 However, local leaders in Masaka in greater Masaka are questioning the rational of spending such huge amounts of money on workshops. George Mutabaazi, the Lwengo LC5 chairperson is worried the money allocated for the project could be used up before the actual release of the identity cards starts.

Mutabaazi explains that it is illogical for government to invite leaders in hotels and give them allowances yet the ordinary people deep in villages are not sharing any coin.
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Tim Lwanga, the Kyamuswa County MP in Kalangala district warns government against wasting resources ahead of the general elections. He claims that Kalangala needs special financial consideration before the elections are held.
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Anifa Kawoya of Sembabule district has cast doubt on the implementation of this project without involving local council leaders. She wants government to conduct elections for lower council leaders who will help mobilize the masses at village levels.

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Godfrey Kayemba, the Mayor Masaka municipality says instead of wasting money in hotels, the exercise should be taken directly to the ordinary people. URN has learnt that during the meetings, MPs, District officials and resident district commissioners pocket 300,000 shilling each in allowances. District police commanders, district internal security organizations officers are given 200000 shillings while their drivers earn between 50,000 shillings and 75,000 shillings in allowances.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.