The District and sub-county Chairpersons under the umbrella of Uganda Local Government Association [ULGA] are demanding a special meeting with President Yoweri Museveni over their salary enhancement.

ULGA unites all local governments in the country, with an aim of providing a common voice to represent the interests of its members. Members of ULGA include all district chairpersons, chief administrative officers, district speakers, and LCIII chairpersons.

According to salary structures from the Ministry of Local Government, LC5 chairpersons earn Shs 2 million while the sub-county chairpersons are entitled to a monthly salary of Shs 386, 000 and motorcycles as means of transport.

However, during the ULGA regional meeting for Eastern Uganda held at Soroti district on Friday, under the theme “Unlocking the Decentralization policy for Effective National Development Plan II- functional, Efficient and Effective Local Government Institutions for Uganda, the district and sub-county chairpersons said that the money they currently earn is too little compared to their responsibilities.

Simon Peter Edoru Ekuu, the LCV chairperson Soroti district said that since they cover bigger areas and work seven days a week, the emoluments should be increased and put higher than those of the Members of Parliament. According to Edoru, the district chairpersons earn Shs 2mln per month but when taxed, they take home Shs1.7mln.

The sub-county chairpersons earn Shs 386, 000 and take home Shs 300, 000 after taxes “The district chairpersons represent bigger constituencies than the MPs and often interact with the local people throughout the month, unlike MPs who do not regularly visit their constituencies, a reason we should earn more than them,” said Edoru.

Amuria district LCV Chairperson, Moses Emabu emphasised the need for a salary review as the district chairperson had earlier proposed through ULGA, saying these are the foot soldiers who monitor government programmes.

He said the trends have changed and the district and sub-county chairpersons should own motorcycles and vehicles they are using after their term of service.

Charles Mugude Maxwell Kuwumbula, the LCV chairperson for Kamuli district lamented that if the emoluments are not increased, it is the central government that will pay the price because there will be inefficient delivery of services.

He added that it is unfair for MPs to be overpaid and taxed less and yet they work fewer days than the district chairpersons do.

“Finance allocations to local governments must be doubled for service delivery to improve,” Mugude suggested The ULGA President Richard Rwabuhinga, who also doubles as the LCV chairperson for Kabarole district, supports the demands, adding that the ULGA secretariat will do whatever it takes to have a meeting with President Museveni over salary enhancement of lower local leaders.

“We have sought audience with the president several times but people around him have been a very big barrier for us to meet him,” said Rwabuhinga.

He revealed that he has written letters seeking to meet with the president in vain.

However, Rwabuhinga stated that they have now written to the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja seeking to meet Museveni to discuss the issues affecting service delivery in lower local governments, and top on the agenda is the issue of salary increment for district and sub-county chairpersons.

Monday, December 5, 2022