Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has reversed the decision by the government that required local governments to remit all their revenue to the consolidated fund.
Although local governments used to collect revenue and utilize it at source, the government through the Ministry of Finance came up with a decision to have the money collected and remitted to the consolidated fund and then disbursed to the districts. This was reportedly meant to cut wastage and corruption.
However, this greatly affected the operations of the local governments including emergencies since they had to wait for the government to allocate the money.
In a debate to reverse the matter, all the MPs who stood up to speak on the matter called for the reversal, forcing the Minister of Finance in charge of General Duties Henry Musasizi to concede and accept the decision reversed.
The Wakiso Woman MP Betty Ethel Naluyima, who moved the motion said that the initial decision affected work in the local governments, and also made several workers redundant.
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Bar dege-Layibi MP in Gulu said that the central government has failed to help the local governments. He says the decision to take local revenue to consolidated fund breaks the spirit of the workers in the local government but also fails the need for decentralization.
Bob Kae, MP Kwania North County says that reversing local revenue to the consolidated fund has failed all the chairpersons in the Lango sub-region. He says there are so many activities that require funding, but sending money to the consolidated fund has affected activities.
Kibanda South MP Jacob Karubanga Ateenyi says that on the alleged lack of accountability in the local governments, there are checks which exist in local governments and these can be queried.
Fredrick Angura, the Tororo South MP said that on top of sending the money to the consolidated fund, the money is also released late to the local governments.
District chairpersons under their umbrella organization, the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA), have in the past proposed that government should change the legal remittance of collected revenue to the consolidated fund so that they can get the powers to allocate the tax levies without the approval of the central government.