President Museveni has warned the minister of Local government Tom Butime against creation of more town councils and Municipalities.
In October this year, the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) announced the creation of 162 new town councils some of which became operational in the current financial year while others will become operational on July 1, 2020.
This meant that in the last three years over 351 town councils have been created which puts it to a total of 587 town councils in Uganda, of which 86 will come into existence in the 2020/2021 financial year.
Currently, they are 33 municipalities that are active. Recently more 11 municipalities were approved.
However in his letter dated November 28, 2019, President Museveni ordered Butime to stop creating more town councils and municipalities which are now proving to be expensive to afford.
“Besides we would also be serious about creating too many town councils and municipalities They are going to be too many and not affordable. Let the little money we have been concentrated first in maintaining security, building infrastructure ( roads, the railway, electricity, schools etc) and not expanding administrative costs,” said Museveni.
In the same letter, Museveni also asked Butime to back off from collecting rent tax from rhouses in town centres.
“ I have been told that some of the district authorities have started collecting property tax from rented houses in trading centres. Some are collecting 8 per cent, I don’t support this because people in those areas are not many. If somebody has just put up a rented building in those areas let the local authorities don’t rush to collect the tax. Let them wait until the area is up-graded to town council or municipality, then we may talk about property taxes,” he said.
Recently, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi also said creation of the new administrative units over-strains the country’s budget.
“The newly created administrative units normally occur when the budget has already been passed so they end being in poor conditions. But I don’t know what’s wrong with our Parliament on why they keep on creating more expenditure entities yet our budget is not increasing in the actual sense we need to cut on the administrative units we have but surprisingly they are increasing every year,” said Muhakanizi.
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