Luweero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Luweero district council has rejected a proposal to use the COVID-19 facilitation from area Members of Parliament to buy food and clear allowances for members of the COVID-19 task force.
Each member of Parliament had received 20 million Shillings from the Parliamentary commission to facilitate their activities during the ongoing lockdown. But controversy emerged on the role of legislators in the fight against the disease resulting in bickering between the three arms of the government.
Subsequently, the MPs were advised to either return the money to the Parliamentary Commission or donate it to the COVID-19 task force in their respective districts. Four Legislators; Abraham Byandala, John C. Muyingo, Edward Ssembatya and Lillian Nakate surrendered their facilitation to Luweero district putting 80 million Shillings in the kitty.
On Tuesday, the Luweero district secretary for finance Hussein Kato tabled a motion seeking approval from the councilors to utilize the money. Kato explained that after consulting with the MPs, the District Executive Committee resolved to allocate 64 million Shillings towards the purchase of relief food for starving communities within their constituencies.
He added that the rest of the funds will cater for allowances and fuel to trace contacts of COVID-19 positive patients.
District female councilor Christine Nakamanya asked her colleagues to reject the proposal saying food distribution was not sustainable. She instead suggested that the district procures beds and other equipment for Luweero hospital.
Another councilor, Christine Nakabugo said that the initial food distribution exercise was mismanaged while Sam Mulwana, the district male councillor for workers said the money is inadequate to feed all the people in the district. The councillors backed the proposal to use the money to equip Luweero hospital.
The matter was put to a vote in which 18 councillors voted to amend the motion and commit the money to equip the hospital whereas four councillors insisted it should be used to buy food. Basing on the outcome, Dithan Kikabi, the district speaker ruled that money be used to buy hospital beds, sanitizers, thermometer guns and masks.
The council resolved that 54 million shillings be used to buy hospital beds for Luweero Hospital, 16 million Shillings for thermometer guns, five million Shillings allocated to buying masks for health workers and five million Shillings for buying sanitizers.
Ronald Ndawula, the LCV chairman of Luweero district said he had forgiven the councilors who accused him and members of the District Task Force for mismanaging food distribution.
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija authorized all accounting officers of the districts to spend the money from MPs as grants in accordance with section 44 of the Public Finance Management Act 2015.