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Stalls again! Mbarara councilors bow-out of budget meeting

Empty seats in the Mbarara council hall. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

MBARARA – The woes in Mbarara municipality between councilors and their Mayor Robert Kakyebezi with his executive are not about to end soon, the latest is that councilors have again today (Wednesday) boycotted the council meeting that was supposed to approve the budget for the financial year 2019/20.

This is the third time a big section of councilors boycotting the meeting arguing that unless their demands are fulfilled, they are not ready to sit and approve their budget.

It should be noted that on May, 22nd, 35 councilors out of 49 refused to attend council which compelled speaker Tashobya to adjourn the council since they did not constitute a quorum.

He adjourned to Monday, May 27 where they again made a no show, These were engaged in a dialogue meeting which was chaired by LCV chairperson Capt John Bosco Bamuturaki and Michael Tusiime in a bid to find a lasting solution to the impasse at Mbarara sports club, After the meeting the speaker Tashobya further announced that there will be a sitting on Wednesday to pass the budget.

On Thursday, councilors shocked them when they again refused to show up insisting that their conditions and demands have not been fulfilled.

Among these issues include not limited to replacing all the executive members who include Muzamir Ssekaja secretary works and development, Benon Kajubi secretary finance and Francis Bemanya deputy Mayor.

Others demands are ensuring that all illegal containers in town are removed where councilors suspect that the owners connived with some members of the executive, removing the fake lights which were planted on Amahembe g’Ente roundabout plus providing a budget performance report for the previous financial year 2018/19.

Today out of 49 councilors only 12 showed up which prompted the speaker to enter the house and adjourn it until further notice. “Madam clerk to the council, do we constitute the quorum? Speaker asked.  “No Mr. Speaker” clerk to council answered.

“Council adjourned until further notice” Tashobya announced.

A handful of councilors who showed up for the meeting. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

Muzamir Ssekajja a member of the executive said that those “rebel” councilors have mixed council business with childish politicking. He mentioned that it’s quite absurd that these members refused to reject it when it was still in the preliminary stages and decided to reject it at the approval.

“Procedurally these members of ours are wrong, you cannot allow the budget start right away from the budget conferences, laying it and then to committees pass it and then come to reject it at the approval. If they had issues they would have been raised when we were still in the process, I find it unprofessional and out of order. Actually after this we shall request the mayor to write to the minister of local government to come and pass the budget since this has been the 3rd time councilors boycotting.” Ssekajja explained.

Mr. Kakyebezi the embattled mayor stated that they have only up to May 31st to have approved this budget or else they will write to the minister of local government to intervene into these matters.

We have been told that the ‘rebel’ councilors who refused to come for the meeting instead had a parallel meeting at sunset hotel in Mbarara town with the RDC Lt. Col James Mwesigye but was closed to none members including media. By press time, they were still held up in a meeting

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