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Finance Ministry halts operationalization of four new sub counties in Lira

FILE PHOTO: Finance Ministry permanent secretary, Keith Muhakanizi.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Four newly created sub counties in Lira district are yet to start operating following a directive from the Finance, Planning and Economics Development Ministry.

They are Itek that was curved from Bar sub county, Awio-Odyek curved from Amach sub county, Iwal curved from Ngetta sub county, and Ayami from Aromo sub county.

The four administrative units were created in the last financial year and were expected to start operating at the start of the 2019/2010 financial year.

However, the Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi directed Lira district local government to delay the operationalisation of the sub counties citing lack of funds to finance their operations.

Alex Oremo Alot, the Lira District LC V chairperson, says they have also been instructed not to swear in interim LC III chairpersons of the four Sub Counties until further notice.

He says they have directed the interim chairpersons of the new sub counties to resume to their previous positions in council.

They include Haross Okii Hariss who was elected Itek Sub county Interim chairperson, Patrick Ongoda of Ayami Sub county, Kasimire Ogwal of Iwal Sub county and Semmy Opwonye Awio, Odyek Sub County.

James Omara Elem, the Lira district youth counselor wonders why the Finance Ministry didn’t allocate funds to operationalize the new units.

Omara says the delay is hurting the expectations of residents who have been anxiously waiting for the new administrative units to function.

Kasimere Ogwal, the interim chairperson of Iwal sub county, one of the newly created sub counties has condemned the decision to delay their operations.

He wonders why they were elected if government was well aware there was no money to finance their operations.

His Awio Odyel sub county counterpart, Semmy Opwonya, says this may hamper their roles to take services nearer to the people.

Opwonya described the delay as unfair and asked government to expedite the operationalisation of their units.

Denis Otim Otoo, the acting Lira district deputy chief administrative officer, says the new units will be operationalized shall after getting clearance from the ministry.

Otim says the interim leaders shall also be sworn in pending clearance from the Ministry. Once operationalized, the four new units will to 16, the number of sub counties in Lira district.

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