By James Bariyo
The Mbarara municipality council has blocked into chaos over the misleading budget that was revealed to councilors during a council session on Tuesday morning.
The council started well but councilors were later disturbed to see different activities named in the budget report submitted to them for deliberation.
The noted council meeting was held on 5th September but never ended because of the collision and was adjourned to yesterday which almost caused councilors to break into a fight.
Councilors received budget reports from finance to discuss on sector committees of finance, education, works and many others but rejected them saying that the budget they are following is different from the one which was passed while they were in Masaka.
It was done vice versa as the one of Masaka was passed from Mbarara municipal council hall while that of Mbarara was passed from Masaka in May 2017.
They also felt angry with their executive that does not avail them with internally audited quarterly reports for discussions in every council session.
Councilors revealed that the budget they passed while in Masaka is not the actual budget they were discussing in the council a move they explained to be meant of stealing the tax payers’ money.
Councilors led by Doreen Natamba representing Kakoba A ward moved a motion to suspend the budget together with council duties until they harmonize on the budget that they approved from Masaka in May 2017.
“I think we are only wasting our time in this council if we continue deliberating on the different budget that we approved while we were in Masaka,” said Natamba.
The said Mbarara municipality budget which was passed for financial year 2017/18 is 31.7billion shillings slightly higher than 26billion shillings for 2016/17.
However, Mbarara Municipality speaker, Bonny Tashobya, before his councilors vowed not to suspend council budget and its duties but instead sought guidance from the town clerk who advised the council to call an extra ordinary meeting to review the noted budget.
“It’s impossible, may be we can discuss other issues and leave out this one of the budget, I don’t want us to do something and at the end of the day it turns against us; what I cannot accept is closing it, it’s a council that is going to be facilitated, other issues concerning the budget can be suspended,” said the speaker.
All council members anonymously supported the speaker’s advice and the town clerk Mr. Edward Lwanga advised on the matter by calling off discussions on the budget report and allowing other pertinent issues to be discussed.
“I request and advise that the budget you can halt it until you conduct an extra ordinary meeting but these other issues that may require our action Mr. speaker I would advise that if there is an emergency in the reports presented; on other issues we will carry on,” the Town Clerk clarified.
The council’s finance minister, Mr. Benon Kajubi noted that as the Mbarara Municipal council, they never had enough money to cause the supplementary budget but they ought to use the property administration funds in the budget.
“Whatever was added while in Masaka was done but we had no alternative source of income for the supplementary budget and the 20% of the budget will be got from the property administration fee,” said Kajubi.
Tashobya confirmed to Kampala Post that the Mbarara Municipal council has suspended its budget after finding it not matching with the one that was approved.
“On the issue of the council today, we started it well at 9; 00am but there was an issue that the budget of the financial year 2017/18 which was passed by councilors while at Masaka was not a little bit matching with the one available and councilors resolved it to be suspended for an extra ordinary council meeting to harmonize,” the speaker said.