Uganda: Mukono District Unable to Spend Sh16 Billion, Returns It to Consolidated Fund

Mukono, Uganda — The Mukono district Chief Finance Officer, Robinah Nabwire has revealed that a total of 16 billion shillings was returned unspent to the Consolidated Fund at the end 2021/2022 Financial Year.

Nabwire says that they received a total of 29 billion shillings to facilitate the district activities; however, they were only able to spend 13 billion shillings.

"We received 29 billion shillings to help us run the district activities like paying salaries, gratuity, pension, and recruitment among others however, we only spent 13 billion shillings and the rest was returned as we failed to make recruitments," she says.

The Public Finance Management Act, 2015, provides for all unspent money from Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to be sent back to the Consolidated Fund by 30 June, before the start of every new financial year.

The finance officer notes that since the money was not utilized it was better to return it than have it swindled, then fail to account for it.

She explained to the councilors and other stakeholders attending the budget conference for FY 2023/24 held at Mukono district headquarters, that regardless of all that, overall the district performed well in the FY 2021/2022 at approximately 83.6%.

While breaking down the revenue performance, Nabwire says that they had a target of 3.2 billion to collect at the end of the financial year however; they collected 1.9 billion, which she blamed on the negative attitude of taxpayers.

"While collecting taxes we were able to realize that there was a negative attitude of taxpayers towards payment of taxes," she says.

She adds that other challenges they faced during the FY were budget cuts especially transfers from other government and external funding which affected the implementation of planned activities, and unreliable Umeme power which has increased the cost of running the district generator using the expensive fuel for operating.

Nabwire then asked the councilors to makeprovisions in which they can create other avenues where they can generate more revenue which they can use to properly deliver services in the district.

She says: "The local government act cap 243, empowers local councils to levy and collect taxes from various revenue sourced, therefore the district has an opportunity of widening the revenue sources by identifying other possible revenue bases to increase the local revenue collected."

However, the Deputy RDC Mukono Henry Kitambula says that the sources they have are enough to generate the revenue they want to help them run the district activities. He instead recommended that they should be transparent in all their doing.

The Mukono district Chairperson LC V Rev. Peter Bakaluba attributed the poor service delivery in the district to the disunity amongst the district leaders.

"There are a lot of conflicts amongst the leaders in the district. Some of these have tried to drag us into their wars with others which we are oftentimes not aware of, which has led to poor service delivery in our communities," he says.

He then urged the councilors to put their political parties aside and do the work they were voted to do by their people.

Once the floor was opened for discussion, the councilors led by Betty Naikoba, a councilor representing Ntunda- Kasawo lamented over the little ex gratia they get.

"We do a lot of work but receive little pay for our efforts, we request that the money be increased during this financial year as well," she says.

The Mukono Chief Administrative Officer - CAO, James Nkata says that whatever they want, the conference is the perfect opportunity to include it in their budget drafts.

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