Tororo splashes SGR compensation money into vehicle for CAO, furniture

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Tororo splashes SGR compensation money into vehicle for CAO, furniture
Tororo councillors up in arms over SGR money | David Ochieng

District fails to pass budget after councillors protest the allocation of funds

Tororo District local government has failed to pass the 2024/25 financial year budget after it emerged that the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) compensation fund had been diverted to amenities for leaders.

What began as a normal council sitting to pass both the supplementary and 2024/25 financial year budget at Tororo district council chambers turned chaotic after councillors noticed misappropriation of funds meant for the construction of staff quarters at Tororo Hospital.

According to the local legislators, the district hospital recently received a compensation of over Shs3.6 billion after getting affected by SGR  towards the construction of staff quarters.

But to their dismay, in the process of scrutinising the budget, the district councilors realized that part of the monies were instead allocated to individual offices, including that of the district chairperson, Chief Administrative Officer and the Speaker, to enable them purchase new vehicles.

"Where they are allocating big amount of monies is not our priority as local government. Our priority is not a vehicle for CAO, not new vehicle for chairperson, no," Nicholas Ofwono, one of the district councillors, said

A letter seen by Nile Post shows that over Shs200 million was put towards purchase of two double cabin vehicles, Shs100 million put towards purchase of furniture in speaker's office, among others

The councilors, who stormed out of the meeting prematurely, further revealed that what annoyed them most was to find out that even the little they had allocated to facilitate their monitoring was allegedly scrapped from the budget.

"We're not convinced and we shall not pass this budget. You may call it fighting for our money or share. Yes, it's time for us to fight for our facilitation in order to do our legal mandate," Patrick Omare, another district councillor, said.

But according to the district speaker Betty Cheria, the alleged allocated funds was passed by the council. She accused the legislators of not standing by their words.

"The monies the councillors are attaching to our offices were actually allocated by them. So, they have no moral authority to complain about," Cheria added.

The over 70 disgruntled district councillors insist that they will never pass the budget unless the budget is scrutinized and few corrections made.

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