Rukungiri district budget conference flops as councilors storm out over deduction of their sitting allowances

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A Council session called for the purpose of a budget conference in Rukungiri flopped after district councilors walked out of the meeting.

This happened on Friday 3rd November 2023 when the angry councilors stormed out of the session that was held at hotel Riverside in Eastern division Rukungiri municipality saying the district authorities had deducted their sitting allowances by over 50% without their knowdlege.

Drama ensued when councilors arrived in the conference room and were asked to first register themselves on the payment sheets but were surprised after realizing that their allowances have been deducted from Ugx. 220.000 to almost Ugx. 100,000.

This forced them (councilors) to unanimously match out of the budget conference demanding their full payment or else boycott.

The district chairperson, Mr. Geoffrey Kyomukama and other district technocrats, tried to calm the councilors down to attend the budget conference, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

“The CAO [chief administrative officer] and his staff must wake up. That is why we have decided to demonstrate to show them that we are of value and they need us too,” Councilors say as they storm out of the conference.

However, the conference was only attended by Sub County LC3 chairpersons, Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) representatives and technocrats from district and Sub County levels.

Speaking with our reporter, Mr. Albert Mugisha Rwamugata, the district councilor representing Buyanja Sub County and Hon. Kapesha Johnson representing Southern division in Rukungiri municipality to district council revealed that they wanted to refuse budget conference as a protest since the district authorities illegally deducted their sitting allowance that has been in existence for over 15 years.

They added that as councilors, they are not on government payroll, meaning allowances are the only way of getting money to sustain their lives and providing basic needs to their children and other family members. 

Hon. Tumusiime Benon district councilor Buyanja town council and Hon. Alex Tumuramye, councilor representing Nyakagyeme Sub County says that they are not ready to have the next council unless the district authorities sort out the issue. 

Cue in….COUNCILORS VOX POPS………….

After storming out of the conference, Mr. Geoffrey Kyomukama, the Rukungiri district chairperson LC5, conducted an indoor meeting with these councilors, and they decided to meet with the district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to discuss how to settle their issue as soon as feasible.

Cue in……..LC5 CHAIRMAN……..

Rukungiri Deputy Resident District Commissioner (DRDC), Mr. Ahimbisibwe Wilberforce Ongom, addressed other congregations present at the same budget conference and urged them to raise public awareness about the need of living in harmony with one another by encouraging people not to plant trees in front of people’s homes or gardens.

Cue in…..DRDC ONGOM…….