“Local governments are supposed to be financed with 30 per cent of the national budget but this has never been possible; sometimes it is as low as 15 per cent. This continues to stifle service delivery,” said Mr Cuthbert Felix Esoku, the Mbarara District chief administrative officer” (Mukombozi, Rajab – ‘Government lacks political will to improve district funding, say local leaders’ 09.11.2017, Daily Monitor).
Sometimes I wonder, if the government understand what it does, or if the sins of the 9th Parliament is hitting the 10th Parliament hard. Also, that the President is lax on caring, because he wants his cronies well off, just like former Prime Ministers and Vice-Presidents are getting 20 million Shillings Yearly as a Pensions, without the perks they are getting too. Therefore, the silence from them, as they are highly paid without doing anything for the NRM. Their ills and the growing Local Government is costing. Not only in Parliament, but in the districts itself. Today, the issues of Parliament is hurting, but none is addressing the local issues. Which is the reason for the lack of money and needed supplementary funds for the Members of Parliament (MP). Take a look!
“Parliament is seeking Shs 3.3 billion for the emoluments of twelve more legislators starting July 1, 2018. According to the parliamentary service commission, the number of MPs will increase from 453 to 465 at the start of the of 2018/2019 financial year when new districts and municipalities come into effect” (URN – ‘ Parliament seeks Shs 3bn for 12 new legislators’ 22.04.2018, The Observer).
I am amazed about the amounts of districts and the rise of cost. This not only the share Members of Parliament, the lack of space for their seats and the possible rebuilding of the Chambers. Because the amounts of MPs wasn’t built for this amount of people at the same time. Therefore, the Parliament needs funds and budgets to fit. That says the foolishness of the new districts in that regard alone.
We know, by recent news that the state cannot afford to hire civil servants to Local Government that as is, and that is without the new enclaves or districts created by the state. That is not just the salary of the MPs whose recently elected, while the Electoral Commission are stretched in getting the by-elections and the MPs their seats. That is just beginning, as the growing debt and the interest are growing. While the Parliament is lacking space and the infrastructure and the local hires are not there.
That the state has under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gone from 33 districts in 1986 to about 136/7 after 1st July 2019. Which was ushered in July 2015, a year before the General Election 2016 and fitted the needs of the National Resistance Movement and keep up with pledges made by the President. So every single town is a District and none is inter-connected it seems. Every hill and top is Sub-County. Just the way NRM Regime like it.
In 2017, the Parliament gave a tender about 260 Billion Shillings to ROKO to build a 500 seat size of chambers there. So the payments and monies are there, when needed, as the state can configure and find money for this. But they are usually lacking funds for the civil servants and for the ones serving in public offices in low-level positions. Even not hiring the needed ones in the districts, schools and so on, as there are thousands of jobs that the Ministry of Public Service is not allowed to hire by direction of Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary of Treasury said there was no funds for that.
But now, suddenly, just like there is funds to athletes, there are funds for new MPs. This is happening as the new possible Social Media tax and also the Tax on Mobile Money. So not like they don’t have projects to use it on. It is all of them districts that needs mansions for District Police Commanders and Residential District Commanders, who all need a palace to live in. Also the need for a local government building and facilities, they cannot run the district from a shack. If that means all citizens has to bleed, that is okay, they deserve this cronyism.
This is the pile of bills made by the amounts of districts, the running costs isn’t just the 3 billions supplementary for the MPs there, it is the new civil servants, buildings and develop these districts. Unless, they want to be ghosts on the paper like schools, teachers, students, refugees, roads and development projects in general.
So, if you don’t see the issues I see, then your either in on it or your just thinking. Its a lost cause, because the President is ushering it in and sanctioning it. This to feed off his cronies and making sure they get jobs locally. Instead of building good districts, he has just chopped them in two or made new ones. So the development and local changes can be made right before elections. That to secure his own candidates for the Parliament too. So for the President its a win-win.
Nevertheless, this has clearly stretched the budgets, the need for public officers and civil servants, as well as more appointed local leaderships. All of these needs salaries and pensions, which means the grows and becomes more expensive with the growth of expenses like these. This is happening at a rate and time, as the growing debt and interest rates are rising. Therefore, the negative affects of it all needs to be put in perspective. However, that is not interesting to the NRM as they cannot question their king, without insulting his intelligence or his will of staying there. That is shown too…
Well, this was a bleak and sad story, but needed this perspective, since the cost of 136/137 districts should be discussed, not only the cost of MPs and the cost of building a new chamber at the Parliament. Peace.