Luweero Town Council Delays to Pass New Budget

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In short
He says currently, no expenditures can be made since they have not even approved the 25 percent vote on account.

Renewed power struggles between the Town Clerk Luweero town council, LC 3 chairperson and councilors have delayed the passing of the new financial year budget estimates. Section 82 (4) of the local government act (amendment) 2010, mandates chairpersons of town councils to prepare and present the estimates of revenue and expenditures of the new financial year before the close of the old financial year on June 30th. Despite the fact that the deadline has passed, Luweero town council is to receive and approve the budget estimates for the 2013/2014 financial year. Currently, technical staffs are not allowed to spend any money, which has put service delivery to residents at risk.

Vincent Ssebayiga, the Luweero Town council speaker says that he convened two meetings to receive and pass the budget estimates recently, but one degenerated into chaos and the other was marred by lack of quorum. Ssebayiga says that he has suspended council meeting to allow the town clerk and political wing to resolve their differences on key issues before the budget estimates are laid in council. He says currently, no expenditures can be made since they have not even approved the 25 percent vote on account. Zainab Kasirye, the Luweero town council LC III vice chairperson who also doubles as finance secretary says that she was not prepared to present the budget estimates because they have not yet been discussed and internalized by the executive.

Kasirye accuses the technical staff led by Muluuta Mugagga, the town clerk Luweero town of usurping the powers of the executive and forging the budget estimates. She also accuses the town clerk of blocking the executive meetings, meant to review the budget estimates. Kasirye wonders how she is expected to read, the budget estimates without scrutinizing them as a finance secretary. Paul Mukungu, the central parish councilor blames the stalemate on renewed power struggle between executive led by Charles Ssebyala, the Luweero Town council LC 3 Chairperson and town clerk. He warns the authorities to brace up for protests or legal suite by concerned residents.

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George Musisi, a trader in Luweero town says they are fed up with the endless wrangles amongst the town council leadership. He saying they are watching to see the uncollected garbage accumulate in the town council and stage violent protests to evict both camps from office. Muluuta Mugagga, the Luweero town clerk says the executive has deliberately refused to table the budget estimates to depict him as a bad administrator to ensure he is kicked out.

He claims that the executive discussed the budget estimates on 4th and 7th June 2013. He says the finance secretary agreed to lay the estimates before council and wonders why she has turned around to claim that the executive has not reviewed the estimates. Mugagga says that he has given the town council executive a week to ensure that budget estimates are laid before council or else he uses another procedure, which he didn’t explain to ensure the budget is tabled and approved.

Charles Ssebyala, the luweero town council LC 3 chairperson declined to comment on the budget stalemate saying he was out of office. Ssebyala and some councilors fell out with Mugagga in February, 2012 after council passed a vote of no confidence in him over allegations of mismanagement of funds, abuse of office and incompetence. On June 6th 2013, the Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesigye intervened in wrangles and tried to reconcile the warring parties in vain.
 

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.