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Mpigi district leaders cry foul over 60 percent fuel cut

Mpigi district chairperson Martine Ssejjemba(M) addressing the media at the district headquarters. URN photo

Mpigi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The political leadership of Mpigi district is protesting the 60 percent fuel cut, saying it limits their field activities to monitor service delivery to residents. The LC V chairperson Martine Ssejjemba, says that the fuel cut is meant to disincentive his office and other political leaders to impede their work.

“The district chairperson must monitor the implementation of the budget that is about Shillings 34 billion, move to lobby for the district, mobilize revenue for the district, hold several community engagements to solicit ideas from the residents, and coordinate the development of the 9 lower local government. But I cannot work,” Ssejjemba lamented.

Compared with the previous leadership, Ssejjemba said that the incentives in the office of the district chairperson and the Speaker have been diffused by the office of the clerk to council. He explains that the speaker is supposed to coordinate the works of the district council, benchmark from other district councils countrywide, coordinate and monitor the works and activities of the 9 lower local government councils all-over the district but he has not been provided with a car as it was for the previous speakers.

This is in addition to a 50 percent fuel cut. According to Ssejjemba, the fuel budget from the LC V chairperson was cut from Shillings 2 million to Shillings 800,000, Vice-chairperson from Shillings 1 million to Shillings 500,000, Speaker from Shillings 1 million to Shillings 500,000, and secretaries from Shillings 600,000 to Shillings 400,000.

However, the Chief Administrative Officer Moses Kanyarutookye, says that they have a running budget for the financial year 2021/22, which was approved on May 31 as per the procedures and implemented as planned. He said that the budget is based on indicative planning figures approved by the council.

“The new councils inherited this year’s budget because by the time they came in, the budget cycle was already complete. We have now started another process of working on another one and they will fully participate,” Kanyarutookye said in a separate interview.

Mpigi district covers 1541.13Sq km of which 1397Sq Km is land and 144Sq Km is covered by Lake Victoria. Among the other challenges faced by the district, Ssejjemba says that there is rampant encroachment and degradation of National forests and swamps, which are threatening the future of the area.

“Some government programs are not implemented, so they do not serve their intended purpose to the residents. For example, the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) did not deliver some agricultural inputs that the local farmers had initially paid for as we are receiving numerous complaints,” he added.

He also noted that the quality and standard of value addition crops delivered to the district in some instances is questionable, which requires close supervision and public sensitization for participation.

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