By Joachim Twino
In his address to LC5 Chairpersons and other local government leaders late Friday evening, Local Government Minister Tom Butiime was furious and didn’t hide his contempt for Parliamentary interference which he said negatively impacts on service delivery.
Making specific reference to a recent directive by Parliament halting the purchase of 2,000 motorcycles by his ministry, Butiime said it was “very saddening” and extremely unfair for MPs to go as far as interfering with the running of Ministries.
The 2,000 motor bikes were meant to facilitate LC3 Chairpersons and Town Council mayors in supervising service delivery in their areas of jurisdiction. However, responding to a whistle blower who was one of the losing bidders, Parliament halted the entire process insisting they want to first investigate the alleged anomalies.
Butiime said Parliament was imprudent in its actions because the losing bidder who petitioned the Speaker lost in a free and fair bidding process where all participants were given equal chance.
He said as a result of this unwarranted interference by Parliament, his Ministry risks losing the Shs30bn that had been allocated for the purchase as there is nothing that will prevent the PSST Keith Muhakanizi from insisting on the return of the money to the consolidated fund as required by law.
Subsequently, Butiime said, the elected leaders at that level will remain without transport facilitation they require to monitor the delivery of services and the ordinary person will ultimately suffer including those electing the MPs that unanimously elected to halt the bidding process yet the Ministry had finally arrived at the successful bidder.
Butiime was speaking at the Nakawa MUBS campus where leaders from 16 new districts converged to receive their new vehicles to facilitate them as LC5 chairpersons in supervising work being done by technocrats to facilitate service delivery. The districts include Kyotera, Rubanda, Omollo, Pakwach, Rukiga, Kikuube, Kwania, Nabilatuk, Namisindwa, Kapelebyong, Kasanda, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Butebo, Bunyangabu and Bugweri.
Local Government Ministry PS Ben Kumumanya in total, government had spent Shs3.8bn to purchase the 26 vehicles whose supplier was Nakawa-based Cooper Motors Corporation (CMC). The 16 are for chairpersons of the new districts and the 10 will go to capacitate the inspection departments.
Kumumanya explained that by law, the LC5 Chairpersons are entitled to transport facilitation by government and urged them to use the new vehicles to comprehensively supervise the provision of education, health and extension services to people in the communities they lead.
He said they are expected to make use of the already existing attendance registers to ensure health workers, teachers and extension workers seriously attend to their work as often as required. See more in the photos taken at the event.
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