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KCCA protests low budget funding

Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has criticized the government for allocating meagre funds to KCCA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and city councilors are protesting the low budget allocation to Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA. According to the second budget circular, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has allocated KCCA Shillings 341.34 billion, which is less than the Shillings 405 billion it had been allocated in the first budget call circular.

The current KCCA budget is Shillings 547 billion, which means that the allocation for the next financial year is less than Shillings 206 billion. The budget is also less compared to the amount needed yearly for KCCA to ably implement its five years strategic plan. The plan launched last year is over Shillings seven trillion and would hence require a minimum of Shillings 1.4 trillion annually.

Presenting the budget to the authority council on Friday, the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago criticised the government for allocating meagre funds to KCCA despite the fact that more than 60 percent of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Revenue comes from Kampala. Lukwago said when the first budget call circular was issued, they protested the allocations but were told that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the economy hence the allocation.

But to his dismay, even what had been allocated during the first call circular has been cut. Lukwago who described the budget allocations as recurring rather than developmental also wondered why the National budget keeps growing while that of KCCA shrinks.

KCCA’s budget doesn’t cater for key items like the implementation of the drainage master plan which requires Shillings 739 billion and salaries of political leaders. The budget for emoluments for political leaders has remained at Shillings 15 billion yet an extra twenty councilors are expected to be sworn into the next council in May.

The Lubaga South Councillor Ismail Ddamba says Kampala cannot be transformed into a resilient and sustainable city with such meagre funding. He says the vision of KCCA isn’t in tandem with the budget allocations.

The Lubaga South Woman Councilor Faridah Nakabugo asked the Executive Director to employ persuasive methods to get more money from the government. Nakabugo says it is self-defeating for an Authority that wants to develop to fail to finance even the most obvious items like salaries of political leaders.

It should be noted that since the office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were established last year, the officials and their support staff have not been paid. Although the money was passed and a supplementary budget submitted, the money has never been released.

The Attorney General later advised that the officials don’t qualify for a salary because they are already paid as councillors. But Nakabugo says if it means reducing costs, KCCA should reallocate money for travels and donations to unfunded priorities like salaries of political leaders.

Councilor Happy Nasasira from Nakawa also castigated the government for failure to plan for several priorities especially councillors elect.

The Executive Director KCCA, Dorothy Kisaka said they are engaging with the Central government to raise their budget. Shortly after joining KCCA, she asked the government to allocate at least 10 percent of the national budget to the Authority.

Kisaka says that she had raised the issue of the political leaders with the Ministry of Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs and Finance and is optimistic that the funds shall be availed.

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One comment

  1. Mr. Mayor

    What have you done with the little you have?

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