NEBBI. Nebbi district council on Tuesday passed Shs38 billion budget for the financial year 2020/21 amidst protest from a section of councillors.
Speaking during the council meeting, Mr Paul Masendi, the councillor for Jupangira sub-county said councillors didn’t contribute to the budget and by passing it, more disaster has been created for the district.
“We cannot own this budget because we were not part of its scrutiny, it belongs to the business committee and we just helped them to pass it”, Masendi said.
He noted that there are many errors in the budget but councillors were only given four hours to discuss and pass it.
Ms Molly Kerpou, the female councillor representing Nyaravur sub-county, however, said the mess has been caused by coronavirus.
She instead urged the district to start planning for councillors so that they can do their oversight role in time and without interference.
“If we had failed to pass the budget, we would have betrayed our electorates. This should not be repeated because as people’s representatives, we have to be part of the budget process,” she advised.
Mr Geoffrey Thorwinya, the councillor representing Thatha Division said the business committee did not do a good job because as councillors, they were not consulted to give in their input.
“It’s during such a process where a lot of money is thrown under the carpet and next time, we shall not allow such mess to passed,” Thorwinya promised.
Meanwhile Mr Emmanuel Urombi, the district chairperson noted that the councillors’ grievances were right, adding that committee meetings were not conducted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said it was the reason, the business committee was tasked to scrutinise the budget alone.
“The draft of the budget is already in Parliament and there is nothing much that the councillors can change even if they are allowed to scrutinise the budget coupled with the fact that the deadline for passing the budget is on May 31,” he added
Nebbi district passed a budget of Shs38,258,546 for 2020/21 financial year with the education sector scooping the biggest share of Shs13 billion of which most of the fund will be used for paying wages, followed by production and marketing getting Shs7 billion.