Local National

Kasese village chairpersons demand for modern means of transport

BY JOEL KAGUTA

Kasese- Local council one chairpersons in Kasese district since last week, they have been receiving bicycles that were procured by the Ministry of local government to facilitate village movements in monitoring of government programs in their areas of jurisdiction.

Kasese district received at least 1006 to cater for 860 village and more than 190 parish chairpersons respectively.

The sub-county chairpersons received the bicycles over the weekend at Kasese Multipurpose hall in Kisangazi cell, Nyamwamba Division of Kasese Municipality on behalf of their respective village and parish chairpersons at a colorful function presided over by the Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Lt. Joe Walusimbi and the district Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Samuel Ssenku Kimuli.

While handing over these Walusimbi says that village chairpersons are the government’s foot soldiers and advised them to use the bicycles to rally residents to embrace government programs especially the newest Parish Development Mode, education, health and immunization.

Lt. Walusimbi threatens to arrest any government leader who will misuse the bicycle including selling it. “I will not tolerate any beneficiary who is planning to sell off this government property, Lt Walusimbi said.

Walusimbi also challenges the village chairpersons to be vigilant in ensuring security of the bicycles stressing that the current rate of theft in different parts of the district might not spare them.

But, the village chairpersons in the district appreciated the government for considering them with the means of transport but resonated some reservations.

Yoledi Syankuruka, the parish chairperson for Kabingo parish in Munkunyu sub-county appealed for consideration of modern means since the bicycles might not be much helpful considering the terrain of their villages and the age bracket of some of the chairpersons.

“Government would have given us motorcycles instead of bicycles because the terrain in most parts of our district will not enable some of us to ride the bicycles safely to monitor government programs”, Mr. Syankuruka.

James Katuramu, the village chairperson for Kyabisheri village in Munkunyu sub-county says that most of the bicycles will be sold because other than that, they will remain packed in the beneficiaries’ sitting rooms since the terrain is bad.

In April this year, the government launched the exercise of giving out motorcycles to all LC 3 chairpersons and all the 44 sub-county chairpersons in Kasese district received and are safely navigating the terrain.

However, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Samuel Ssenku Kimuli says the government is planning to give out motorcycles to village chairpersons after sorting out the sub-county chiefs.

Similarly, the village Chairpersons from Mahango sub-county are decrying the low monthly stipend given to them by the government compared to the services that they render to the electorate.

The chairpersons say that the Ministry of Local Government needs to increase the pay of shillings 10,000 as an ex gratia to a reasonable amount of money.

According to the official website of the Electoral Commission, Kasese district has 860 villages.

This means shillings 8.6 million is disbursed to all the local council one chairpersons in Kasese and only shillings seven hundred six million two hundred sixty thousand (706,260,000) for the entire country per month.

But the Local Council I Chairpersons in Mahango sub-county allege that the amount of money paid to them on a monthly basis is too little compared to what other local leaders are getting.

Mr. Pascal Thalyamuthwe, who heads the association of the Local Council I Chairpersons in the entire sub-county, says they will present their concern to all the relevant offices for redress.

On his part, Mr. Wilson Masereka Mukomombo, the Local Council I Chairperson for Mahango village, proposes that there should be equitable distribution of the country’s resource envelope among the leaders.

Alex Bwambale Kalyabyuma, the Chairperson Local Council II for Kyabwenge Parish wonders why the government is planning to increase the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) for elderly persons from the current shillings 25,000 to 50,000 yet the local council leaders are earning little.

“You wonder why people who are not working are given more money than us who are ever moving here and here to settle community issues”, Kalyabyuma.


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