By Joshua Kato
KISORO is the best performing district, while Jinja Municipality tops urban local governments countrywide. This was revealed last week at the Joint Review of Decentralisation meeting held at Hotel Africana in Kampala. Also named were the best districts, urban areas and sub-counties in each region.
The best performers get certificates of recognition and about 20% more funding.
According to the Ministry of Local Government, the selection is mainly based on reports received from districts about their local government performance, the Auditor Generalâ€™s report and the national assessment on local governments.
The basis for national assessment includes compliance to stipulated laws and regulations like the Local Government Act. Local governments are required to meet at least 50% of these regulations.
According to the assessment, Kisoro district in south-western Uganda improved tremendously. The 2006 National Assessment Report revealed the district had failed to meet the minimum requirements.
According to the district chairman, Philemon Mateke, Kisoro owes its performance to good accountability and adherence to local government regulations.
In the previous reviews, Jinja Municipality met all the minimum conditions. The mayor, Baswale Kezaala attributes the municipalityâ€™s success to team work. Mayuge district emerged best in eastern Uganda.
In the 2005/06 financial year, the districtâ€™s overall performance remained static. The district is headed by Ikoba Tigawalana.
Nakaseke district was the best in the central region, replacing Mityana. Ironically, the chief administrative officer (CAO), Emmanuel Ssenoga, was the Mityana CAO when the district emerged best in the previous review. He was transferred to Nakaseke early this year, but credit also goes to Andrew Kyamanywa, who was the CAO between 2006 and 2007 when the review was carried out.
Bushenyi emerged best in western Uganda. According to the LC5 chairman, Longino Ndyanabo, the district met all its expectations in the previous years. He owes the performance to accountability and adherence to regulations.
Nebbi was the best in northern Uganda. In the 2005/06 assessment, the district failed to meet the expectations and was penalised.
Nakawa division in central Uganda was among the best urban and regional local governments. Nakawa, led by Protazio Kintu, has been performing well generally.
It is one of the divisions in the city with the least accountability queries.
Others include Arua Municipality in the north, Fort Portal municipality in the west and Manafwa Town Council in the east. The best sub-counties include Bugongi in Bushenyi district, Kiyuni in Mubende district, Butebo in Pallisa district and Ludara in Koboko district.
According to the Auditor Generalâ€™s report, out of the 81 districts, only Oyam did not have queries. This is not surprising because the LC5 chairman, Col. Okello Engola, has zero tolerance to corruption.
In 2006, he rejected a sh1m bribe.
In the urban areas, Kira, Nansana, Kaliro, Kayunga, Butaleja and Busolwe town councils had the best records. For most of them, this is not surprising, given their nature of work. For example in Kira, most of the funds are spent after consulting with the residents.
In the last few years, Kira was able to buy a grader using the funds from the graduated tax compensation.
Only the ministries of education, water and roads returned reports on local governmentsâ€™ performance.
Ssembabule emerged best in education, irrespective of the fact that the district has been having political wrangles and financial problems.
Herman Ssentongo, the district chairman, says they spent most of the funds on constructing teachersâ€™ houses and classrooms, teachersâ€™ salaries as well as school inspections.
Kanungu emerged best in the roads sector. The roads had already been commended by President Yoweri Museveni during his visit to the district in October.
Kanungu is led by the only female LC5 chairperson, Josephine Kasya. â€œInfrastructural development is key to other developments. This is why we are concentrating on it,â€ she explains.
Bundibugyo was the best in the water sector.