KAMPALA – The State Minister for Local Government, Ms Jenipher Namuyangu, has called for the amendment of the decentralisation policy to provide more funding to districts.
Uganda introduced the decentralization policy in 1997 under the Local Government Act of 1997 that has since undergone four amendments. The policy inherently decentralized service delivery institutions and their governance in order to improve access to services for the rural poor.
But according to the minister, the current budgetary allocation to districts cannot enable them deliver the much-needed services to Ugandans.
“We are only getting 11% of the budget. The restrictive policies within the decentralisation policy have also affected the collection of local revenue,” Ms Namuyangu said, adding that many districts are unable to raise their own local revenue to facilitate their budgets.
She was speaking at the sectoral review meeting of the Ministry of Local Government in Kampala on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
Other stakeholders said the current policy is rigid and has affected the disbursement of salaries and other policies such as the Mining Act.
Nevertheless, the minister said they are now looking at alternative sources of revenue as they lobby the central government for more funds.
“We are piloting a new digitalized system to remove the middleman. We are also looking to partner with investors,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr Ben Kumumanya, welcomed the creation of the local government sector, saying it will give them a bigger platform to voice their concerns.
“We shall be able to present our agenda very clearly,” he said.