The Local Government Budget Framework Paper for the Financial Year of 2017/2018 for the Moyo District of the Republic of Uganda is daming. It is tragic, the ways the budget is inadequate and is proving the lack of will of governance. The way the district is being underfunded and not spending needed tax-payers monies. But this is just one district in the Republic, still if this is a proof of the problems in Uganda. This is one out of dozens districts, but the little drops of issues has also been showed in the MPS of the KCCA for the coming financial year. Therefore, the quotes from the Moyo District, proves the lack of care of the local district institutions and their staff. As the lacking structure is evident by the Framework paper. Take a look!
“Poor road conditions and inadequate infrastructure limiting community access to productive land, increasing cost of production and access to markets and social services, inadequate and limited supply of electricity that hinders promotion of value addition and food processing, inadequate skilled manpower and under staffing where the current staffing level is at 52%, negative community attitude and cultural practices that impact negatively on health seeking behaviour and access to education, high population” (Vote: 539, 2017).
Cutbacks to Local Government budget:
“Total planned revenue for FY 2017/2018 is Uganda Shillings 22,463,673,000 compared to FY 2016-2017 of Uganda Shillings 25,617,772,000 indicating a decline of 12% in revenue budget. The FY 2017//2018 total revenue has reduced by Uganda Shillings 3,154,099,000,000 .The major decline in revenue budget has been witnessed in Donor funding by Uganda Shillings 2,396,897,000 mainly UNICEF, UNFPA and . Secondly Locally Raised Revenue and Conditional Grants have been reduced” Vote: 539, P: 3, 2017).
Planned Revenue for 2017/18:
“(i) Locally Raised Revenues
(ii) Central Government Transfers
(iii) Donor Funding
Out of total Local Revenue of Uganda Shillings:
699,937,000, Uganda Shillings 148,794,000 is Taxes and Uganda Shillings 551,142,000 is Non taxes.. The major sources of the taxes include; Land fees of Uganda Shillings 9,060,000, Application fees of Uganda Shillings 8,200,000, Business licenses of Uganda Shillings 33,000,000, and other licenses of Uganda Shillings 24,721,000 Animal and crop related levies of Uganda Shillings 30,521,000, Registration of Businesses of Uganda Shillings 13,222,000,
The Total Central Government Transfers:
Is Uganda Shillings 18,059,155,000. The Conditional Grants amount to Uganda Shillings 13,813,,307,000 (76.5%), Dicretionary Grants amount to Uganda Shillings 3,698,541,000 (20.5%), Other Transfers of Uganda Shillings 547,307,000 (3%) Major source of the Central Government Transfers are; Sector Conditional Grants ( Health, Education, Production and Maketing, Water, and Administration), District Discretionary Development Grants and District Discretionary
The total Donor funds:
To the district is only UGX 3,704,581,000. The low allocation of was because some of the development partners like BAYLOR Uganda and SuSTAIN are no longer receving funds from their Donors outside Uganda” (Vote: 539, P: 6, 2017).
“Low Primary and Secondary School completion rates
The Primary School completion rate stands at 26.1% which is far below the national average. Drop out rates at Secondary schools is also high at 35%. The challenge is caused by low parental/ community participation and involvement in schools.
Inadequancy of teachers houses in Schools and poor school sanitation
Only 29.2% of the teachers in Primary Schools are accomodated at school. This causes tardiness and late coming among teachers. Besides effective transfer of staff is a big challenge. The Pupil Stance ratios in schools are still appalling.
Inadequancy of Science and Mathematics teachers in secondary schools:
It is extremely hard to attract and retain science and Mathematics teachers in the secondary schools. The few available once retired or died and never replaced by the Ministry of Education and Sports” (Vote: 539, P: 15, 2017).
“The three biggest challenges faced by the department in improving local government service:
Lack of Transport: Planning Unit has no running vehicle nor motor cycle hence affects programme implementation.
Weak internet connection: The internet installed for Birth registration is weak hence affects data entry and demotivates the Data entrants since payment is according to records entered.
Erratic power supply: The line connecting the Unit has been constanly inturrupted during printing hence leading to loss of records” (Vote: 539, P: 23, 2017).
It isn’t only on the Framework Paper that the troubles of Moyo District comes to surface, as the issues of the District is evident. The Moyo district needs certainly more funds and more direction, as the district is understaffed. This is with the mind of not only having enough people in the needed positions, but also have the equipment and buildings for the state to deliver needed services for the citizens.
“Moyo district councilors have protested what they call deliberate refusal to pay their sitting allowances by the office of the Chief Administrative Officer. During a council meeting to pass the 2017/18 budget, the councilors almost paralysed the sitting after putting to task the Chief Administrative Officer to explain why they were not being paid their arrears” (…) “Chaiga Warned the CAO to be serious in handling the matters of the councilors because such delays can embarrass in the eyes of their electorates. “We should not make such things to occur again in the lives of the councilors”, he said” (…) “Grandfield Omonda, the Chief administrative officer however blamed the delay in paying the councilors to low local revenue generation. Omonda said the district performed poorly in terms of local revenue collection leading to delay in clearing the arrears. “We have performed low in collecting the local revenues and money to pay the council sittings comes direct from the collection and the money is generated from lower local government at sub county levels”, Mr Omonda said” (Iceta, 2017).
So the Local Government are blamed by the appointed men of the Central Government, as the Budget Framework Paper is showing how it is lacking. Even the CAO and the Councilors are trading shots of the lack of funds and their salaries, as the representatives in the district isn’t even getting their supposed allowances. But they are not the only who has misgivings, the are on the top and still isn’t getting what they are supposed to. The whole districts lacks the needed manpower and revenue to run. That is a systematic maladministration that is totally normal under the National Resistance Movement. This is their system and their works over decades rule. Therefore, the NRM haven’t had the priority to fix or make sure the districts are running sufficiently. That is why the basics isn’t there and the CAO of Moyo Oryono Grandfield Omonda, who reported this all to the Parliament for the voting. Peace.
Iceta, Scovin – ‘Moyo District Councilors Protest Unpaid Arrears’ (25.05.2017) link: http://westnilepress.org/moyo-district-councilors-protest-unpaid-arrears/
Republic of Uganda – ‘Vote: 539 Moyo District’ – Local Government Budget Framework Paper – Financial Year 2017/2018
Kampala, Tuesday, 8 September, 2015:
The Democratic Alliance (TDA) has learnt with shock and consternation of the deployment of heavily armed police and the military in Apa Parish, Pabbo sub county, Amuru district. The aim of the deployment is to subdue the residents violently in order for the government to demarcate boundaries between the districts of Amuru and Adjumani. They also claim that they want to demarcate the boundary of East Madi Hunting Area.
In 2012 the Uganda Wildlife Authority sent armed Rangers with the backing of police and the army to forcefully evict the residents of Apaa. People were beaten up, their livestock raided, their houses burnt and their crops set on fire. Some young men were shot dead in the operation. Twenty five men were arrested, beaten severely, taken to Adjumani where they were charged with offenses ranging from criminal trespass, being idle and disorderly to threatening violence.
Primary schools were closed down, the pupils and teachers sent away and the school desks were being used as firewood by the army and police. In fact the school became the command post of the army complete with a road block along the road leading to the school.
We are aware that this forceful eviction is being driven by a profit motive. We are also aware that at the instigation of Hon. Moses Ali, the area had been offered by Adjumani district to one Bruce Martin, a foreign investor, to be developed as a private game ranch and hunting area. We feel that since the affected area is not under the exclusive jurisdiction of Adjumani district, it requires cross border collaboration and a joint discussion and a shared decision and consent by the neighboring districts of Amuru and Adjumani.
After the incident where mother of Apa exposed themselves naked be fore the government delegation in protest, government made a commitment that a border meeting would be convened to listen to the concerns of the residents and the leaders.
To our surprise, we were told that three days ago a team comprising the army, police and other government officials were already on the ground and had come in via Adjumani district and were carrying out a survey, boundary opening and were also planting mark stones. This was in total contravention of the spirit of dialogue. Leaders tried to access Apa but roadblocks were set up and they were prevented from speaking to the people.
Three people are now confirmed dead by sources in Apa. Several people suffered grave injuries and are being treated at Amuru health centre. The Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya was arrested and is believed to be detained in Masindi police station.
We condemn the greed behind this illegal and violent eviction of people trying to settle down after twenty years in concentration camps. We demand that this illegal survey and boundary demarcation he halted immediately.
Only open and transparent dialogue with the affected communities can resolve this matter. Force and violence by the army and police will only escalate an already volatile situation. For centuries the people of Madi and Acholi have coexisted and lived peacefully and there has never been any dispute over the administrative boundaries of the two districts. A case in point is Bibia Parish which is located in Attiak Subcounty, Amuru district and has a considerable population of ethnic Madi people. The administrative boundaries of Amuru and Adjumani are well known. That is why we believe that this current dispute is being orchestrated by greedy people who have selfish interests.
We now propose the following way forward:-
1. Any attempt at a unilateral process of survey and boundary opening at the instance of Adjumani district or the central government should be halted.
2. A high level meeting of government representatives, leaders from the districts of Adjumani and Amuru should be convened by to clarify issues of contention and provide an initial platform for dialogue.
3. A meeting of the communities that reside in the affected area should be convened in order that they become part of the efforts to seek a solution rather than being victimized by decisions and actions imposed from above.
4. Trusted mediators should be sought and asked to get involved in facilitating dialogue by the affected communities. The residents of Apa have for instance proposed that Archbishop John Baptist Odama and retired Bishop Macleod Baker Ochola be asked to mediate in this conflict.
TDA stands in solidarity with the people of Apa. We demand that the media blackout and the isolation of Amuru stops. This brings back memories of Operation North when the entire region was cordoned off as soldiers violated human rights with reckless abandon.
Finally, we know that the NRM regime doesn’t adhere to the rule of law but we wish to state that the matter is before the courts of law and the court has issued an injunction against any further survey and boundary opening.
Government should act impartially and without any undue delay in order that an amicable solution to this problem be found.