The NRM government has hit a snag in its “decentralization” policy as several newly created sub-counties and town councils lack money for operations. This was revealed by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.
“We have discovered that many politicians simply agitate for the creation of new administrative units for creations of jobs. We already have 300 new sub-counties and 200 town councils, to get money for them to operate is a big problem” he said.
According to Kasaija, the government needs about sh100b for them to operate, which according to him isn’t small money
“We will implement their operations in phases; if I tell you that they will start at ago, I would be lying. We must be careful while creating these administrative units, there should be real reasons for their creation; those reasons should either be the fact that people can’t live harmoniously together or a given area is too big to be effectively governed,” said Kasaija.
He made the remarks during the FY 2020/21 Local Government Budget Consultative Conference that took place in Hoima on Tuesday. Organised by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the conference was attended by district LC5 chairpersons, Resident District Commissioners, Chief Administrative Officers, Civil Society Organisations among other dignitaries.
“When you create a new administrative unit, for instance, a district, you will need a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), RDC, District Police Commander and they must be paid salaries and all allowances to do their work which all takes a lot of money from National Treasury,” said the minister.
In May this year, President Yoweri Museveni also said that there should be an end to the creation of administrative units in the country.
While speaking to MPs on retreat at National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi, Museveni noted that the cost of financing new administrative units is high.
He said the money meant for the operationalization of the new administrative units could instead be diverted to improve agriculture, the Youth Livelihood Programme and Women Fund which he says are crucial to the development of Uganda’s economy.