“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”– George Bernard Shaw
This January, the Parliament made a Report (REPORT ON THE STATUS OF FUNDING FOR SUB-COUNTIES AND TOWN COUNCILS, January 2019) into the creation of new Town Councils and Sub-Counties, the Local Governments if you may. As the National Resistance Movement (NRM), have with swift haste over the recent years split up the Republic in record speed. As they are continuing to do so. There are added expenses and more salaries to pay, even more officials and public buildings to procure or facilitate. As the Local Government does gain revenue over night either.
Therefore, the release of this report is a story been told before, about how the Parliament are enacting more districts, but doesn’t have the pocket to facilitate it or the fantasy of thinking of the costs of doing so. In the same vein comes this report, that is rewind of the previous ones, but still important to address.
“Government created 108 Town Councils to commence operations on 1st July 2017 and 95 Town Councils to become effective on 1″1 July 2018. Government also created 204 Sub-Counties that became in FY 2018/ 79 (refer to annex 1). However, the operationalisation of the newly created local governments units has not been matched with the requisite budgetary resources”.
“Government created a total of 203 Town Councils and 196 Sub-Counties which have not received operational funds. However, during the FY 2017 118, a provision of Ush. 2bn in the budget was made to cater for startup activities for the 35 Town Councils. In FY 2018/ 19, government released Shs. 2.5bn to cater for startup activities for 50 Town Councils. However, the Committee notes that some Town Councils received partial funding against what had been approved by Parliament”.
“The funding requirement for operationalization of the newly created 203 Town Councils and 196 sub-counties is estimated by Ministry of Local Government at Shs. 108.5bn and Shs. 30.7bn respectively and this excludes costs for public administration such as establishment of a police post, health and education facilities in line with the current government policy”
The final quotes from the report, which is the recommendations is worth to mention as well: “The government should provide Shs. 139.2bn for operation of all approved Town Councils and Sub- Counties in FY 2019 l20” (…) “The government should review the policy of creation of new, districts and other local government administrative units in view of the constrained resource envelope”.
Surely, we can see that the state is not sufficiently ensuring the creation of the new Town Councils and neither the Sub-Counties. This is the costs of office equipment, the payment of salaries of the local government and all the procurement that needs to be done.
That is if these entities matters or supposed to govern locally. If not it is just made up areas before the elections to garn voters and spilt the districts to ensure problems for the opposition. Which seems more likely. Since the state, haven’t done much to facilitate or even tried to make them functional.
Even with the funding proposed by this Parliamentary Committee, they are still not discussing the other needs for public administration, police posts, health care or education facilities. Which should be the basis for these entities in general, if not their offices with no portfolio in the districts. That is how it seems.
Surely, the Memo on this matters are the same as before, a ploy to gain voters and promise patrons and cronies of a job after elections, but not having the bank balance or the funding to actually do it. That is how the state operates in these matters and that is why this is a recurrent issues. That is always coming up to discussions about the splitting of districts, sub-counties and town councils. It is just reappearing like the monster of the past and the government acts clueless about to get rid of it. Peace.