Local Govt Council leaders decry suffocation by Central Government

Amos Tayebwa

Local council leaders accuse the Central Government of selfishness in how revenue Collections are shared.
Jotham Mwesigwa, the Rwampara District Speaker who doubles as the representative of speakers of western Uganda at the Uganda Local Governments Association, has revealed that local governments have had a lot of challenges caused by suffocation from the Central Government. He claims that decentralization is being killed as the central government brings back decentralization when all the decisions are being made at the Center something he says has slowed down service delivery in Local Governments. For example, all the revenue collections are collected from the lower councils and it is first sent to the Center then it takes a lot of time at the center by the time they bring it back the financial year is ending and in the end, nothing is done at the ground.

Mwesigwa challenged the little amount of money sent back from Central governments to Local governments that it cannot do any developmental services on the ground.

“You cannot send 30m to a district like Rwampara to work on roads and you expect people to have better roads. And also the projects that are being done by the local governments are given a very small portion. Another challenge is that there is a problem with leadership, the center is too selfish to the extent that the leadership in the district is poorly facilitated. You cannot have funds to monitor activities that are taking place in the district, you can imagine I come from a line where am a district councilor but am getting only UGx175,000= which is very little for someone to move around the constituency or sub-county to monitor government projects” said Speaker Mwesigwa

He added and requested this government that Councilors who represent sub-counties, their remuneration should be improved. That the LC3 Chairpersons receive around UGx290000= and one has to move the whole sub-county to monitor government programs, LC1 Chairpersons get UGx10,000= each per month, ” I have a feeling that if Local governments are worked on or empowered services will reach people but currently we are suffocated and suppressed by the central government ” he said.

Districts collect revenue through Lower councils like sub-counties and send them to the central government, in return only 35% goes to the district, and then other percentages that go to the sub-counties. However, some districts like Rwampara do not have enough sources of Revenue. Speaker Mwesigwa revealed that a district like Rwampara collects about 300m and when you divide it into 8 sub-counties you find the remaining money is too little, he adds that the worst part of it is that as they send it to the center the money will be sent back late to the district and will not do its work. He suggested that let the money collected from Local governments remain the in their respective local governments so that it enables them to do what it is supposed to do.

“As speakers representatives, we have our other association called UDCOSA, we have tried to raise our voices over the matter but our Bosses including the president have kept adamant. We have made attempts to meet the president to expose these challenges before him but all have been in vain”

Mwesigwa has also decried unemployment that has hit the Young Generation in Uganda. That the Youths have gone to school and graduated but they don’t have jobs. He appealed to this government to fight hard and create many job opportunities as many as possible so that the jobless Youths can also be empowered in some other ways.

On the other hand, it is rumored that Speaker Jotham Mwesigwa commonly known as King is preparing himself as a Youth from Western Uganda to confidently bid in the next presidential elections of 2026- 3031.

Speaking to our reporter, Mwesigwa confidently confirmed that he has already and he has started thorough consultations from the ground and with his capacity is ready to contest for president come to the 2026 general elections.

“I must tell you that this is the right time for us to secure the right direction for this country. This country especially the young generation needs a fresh mind to lead them. You see when the current president was going to the bush he came up with a new strategy and that’s the development you are seeing now, but this time we need to think about another new fresh blood that will inject into some life in Uganda”, said Mwesigwa. He is also the Representative of Speakers at the East Africa Local governments Association.

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