By Michael Aboneka
Recently, Parliament passed 15 cities and 7 of those commenced 1st July 2020 and yet no money was allocated to them in the 2020-2021 Budget. How then shall these Cities operate without funds? Where shall the money come from? Do we have the fiscal plans for each city? How long will they take for them to take off to bring the so called employment and economic boom the leaders are talking about? Whereas the decision to create new Units may be well intentioned; the planning is always missing. Government prior to this passed new municipalities in 2015 which up to now still decry lack of funds for them to function well while their leaders are busy enjoying political seats in the name of representation. This just shows that these are merely driven by political interests and not that of the citizens; for the citizens need .
At the start of the 2019/2020 financial year, 7 new districts, namely Karega, Rwampara, Obongi, Kalaki, Madi-Okollo, Kitagwenda and Kazo became operational. This increased the total number of districts to 134. In addition, 352 town councils (TCs) and 364 sub-counties were created during the past 3 years and all this was done in the name of service delivery. I have not seen any evidence yet that since the creation of these districts and Town councils, the livelihoods of the citizens has greatly improved and until that happens, these will only remain gerrymandering. The 7 new districts need at least 7.7Billion as start up capital and about 50 Million for a Town Council to be able to have offices among others.
Government tried to sort out the funding gap by instructing the mother districts to share the Indicative Planning Figures (IPFs) by at least 50% with the new districts created in the FY 2017/18. This was not possible because the mother districts still receive inadequate funds for their plans and to ask them to share with the new ones is in itself self-defeating.
What we need are adequate services at all levels and not merely elevation of our villages without substantial returns. We should instead invest the money meant for public administration of these units into social services and infrastructure which makes more meaning than scrambling for new units which come with their financial burdens and only benefit the political elite.
Coordinator: African Governance Architecture-Uganda
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