The Minister for Local Government, Hon. Raphael Magyezi has been directed tasked to write to local government heads on the guidelines issued by Parliament for the utilisation of the Shs1 billion road maintenance grant.
The Speaker, Anita Among issued the directive on Thursday, 31 August 2023.
“I want the minister to write to the local governments forwarding the resolution of Parliament on the usage of that money. I want a copy by tomorrow [Friday] afternoon and MPs should also get a copy,” said the Speaker.
Government allocated shs1 billion for each district, 10 cities and 31 municipalities in a bid to improve the district, urban and community roads aimed at enhancing rural accessibility and working environments.
The Speaker expressed dissatisfaction with the failure by the Ministers for Local Government and Works to disseminate the guidelines to administrative heads at local government level.
“When this House passed the guidelines, the same ministers went to Cabinet and said the Speaker dictated and brought guidelines which are different from ours,” Among added.
Magyezi, however, told the House that the matter was not brought before Cabinet.
He had initially requested the Speaker to grant him a week within which to present a comprehensive statement detailing implementation of the revised guidelines.
“The local governments today have the guidelines as given to them by the Ministry of Works and also have the resolution of Parliament. Permit us to give a harmonised position on this matter by next Thursday,” Magyezi said.
Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality) expressed concern that the minister’s comments indicated that local governments have two sets of guidelines which will create confusion.
“By passing the resolution of this House, it was aware of the guidelines issued by Ministry of Works. We had considered those guidelines and explained here that they had become an obstacle in themselves,” said Basalirwa.
Hon. Solomon Silwany (NRM, Bukooli County Central) noted that the Ministers for Local Government and Works and Transport had conceded to the guidelines passed by the House during the sitting held on 27 July 2023.
Magyezi told the House that the executive committee of district engineers confirmed that they received Parliament’s resolution detailing guidelines on use of the Shs1 billion road grant and were committed to implement them.
“We have sent a team to the different districts so that we come up with a concrete answer to Parliament on if they received the money this quarter and how they are utilising it,” said Magyezi.