The Kampala divisional mayors and their councils have declined to participate in the budgeting process for the next financial year citing the failure by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to create votes for their divisions.
The division mayors are: Charles Sserunjogi for Kampala central, Emmanuel Sserunjogi for Kawempe, Joyce Ssebugwawo for Rubaga, Ali Mulyanyama for Makindye and Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga for Nakawa.
Section 31(1) of the Kampala Capital City Authority 2011 provides for the office of the Division Town Clerk.
The Act says that the division town clerk “shall be the head of the public officers of the division council and shall be the accounting officer of the division urban council.”
The Act further stipulates that the Town Clerk is supposed to “present the annual budget to the division urban council.”
However, over the past years, the town clerks have been rendered idle since the budget is generated at the centre.
Last year, the KCCA Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi agreed with the division mayors to operationalise the devolution of the Town Clerk’s accounting roles by creating budget votes for each urban division.
This meant that each division would develop its own budget, which would be incorporated into KCCA’s budget before it is presented to the Finance Ministry.
However, as the budget process for the2018/2019 financial year kicked off last month, the Urban Division Councils passed resolutions not to participate citing the failure by KCCA to honour its promise to create budget votes for them.
The Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago said he received resolutions from Urban Divisions, indicating that they will not participate in the budgeting process.
“The mayors have communicated and I have their resolutions here,” Lukwago said.
He added: “The central division on October 30th resolved that the division will not be involved in the budgeting process for 2018/2019 unless powers and functions are devolved to the divisions for meaningful budgeting, the town clerk is empowered to become accounting and budgeting officer, the division is allocated its vote and the institution puts in place instruments on, which devolution of power to the division will be based.”
The KCCA Acting Director Treasury Services, Julius Kabugo says the Kampala minister, Beti Kamya convened a meeting attended by the KCCA technical wing officials and Urban Division Mayors where she advised division mayors that the devolution of power and creation of budget votes for divisions isn’t possible for the next year’s budgeting process.
“She (Kamya) promised to put in place a committee to study and come up with instruments that will be presented to cabinet on how devolution of power will be implemented so that it can be considered for financial year 2019/2020,” Kabugo said.
As KCCA technical wing dialogued with division mayors, it was preparing its draft budget to be presented to Ministry of Finance.
The Public Finance Management (PFM) Act requires every accounting officer and head of state enterprise to prepare a budget framework paper for their vote.
The coming financial year’s budget framework paper will be submitted to ministry of Finance by Wednesday 15th November.
“We have been working on some (budget) proposal as we thought we would submit to the leaders as technocrats. Unfortunately, we have not got the opportunity to present them to the KCCA political wing but we have the proposals that we will submit to Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General,” Kabugo said.
According to the Acting KCCA Deputy Executive Director, Sam Sserunkuma, the budget framework paper was first submitted to the office of the Accountant General on 8th November.
Sserunkuma said KCCA belongs to the accountability sector headed by the Accountant General who requested them to submit the budget framework paper to his office for review.
Lukwago said the KCCA technical wing has adopted a practice of drafting budgets and submitting them to the ministry of Finance without presenting them to the urban divisions and authority councillors as required by the law.