Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders of Gulu city on Friday petitioned President Yoweri Museveni over failure by the Ministry of Local Government to remit local revenue to the council.
The leaders through Gulu City Deputy Speaker Lamex Akena, say that the Ministry of Local Government is not remitting to Gulu city revenue that is being collected and submitted to the consolidated accounts in the Bank of Uganda through the Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) which was introduced at the beginning of this financial year.
The Integrated Revenue Administration System (IRAS) is a web and mobile application platform that aids municipalities in the collection of local revenue from registration, assessment, billing, payment, sensitization of taxpayers, and linking the citizens to municipalities.
The petitioners want the president to intervene and direct the finance ministry to remit money to Gulu City Council to help facilitate service deliveries and operations as well as paying allowances of the councilors and payment of staff which has not been done for over seven months.
Akena says that their constant pleas to the Ministry of Local Government, Finance, Parliament among other offices have since landed on deaf ears and received no positive responses.
The councilors and leaders are now requesting that the President directs the Ministry of Finance to approve Gulu City Council project budget of 3.8 billion shillings against an approved 491 million shillings which is meant to be shared by the two divisions of Bardege-Layibi and Pece-Laroo.
Patrick Oola Lumumba, the Mayor Bardege-Layibi division says that if the President fails to respond to their concerns by Monday next week, they will march to the office the finance minister with a bucket of rubbish to express their discontentment.
He noted that the IRAS system has paralyzed the operations of Gulu city due to the bureaucracies involved in its processing.
Lumumba notes that the city is choking on uncollected garbage much as they have trucks, cannot maintain community access roads nor repair damaged bridges, adding that electricity and water supplies in their offices and markets have been cut off by service providers due to outstanding bills.
Robert Komakech, the Speaker of Bardege-Layibi division who expressed disappointment, noted that not only have services been paralyzed but they can no longer procure office consumables.
Cindy Ayee, the Female Youth Councilor Gulu City noted that she is disappointed that Gulu City is operating without money and the community is suffering.
The leaders fear that the city will lose close to one billion shillings it submitted if this financial year closes in June.
Denis Odongpiny Odwong, the Gulu Resident City Commissioner confirmed receipt of the petition letter and said he would forward it to the President`s office before the end of today, Friday.