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Local govts invite private partners for business

By Vision Reporter

Added 26th March 2015 06:37 PM

Local governments have passed a number of resolutions at the end of their two-day 10th forum on Joint Review of Decentralization (JARD), among them, the resolve to invite private partners in doing business.

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Local governments have passed a number of resolutions at the end of their two-day 10th forum on Joint Review of Decentralization (JARD), among them, the resolve to invite private partners in doing business.


By Alfred Wandera

Local governments have passed a number of resolutions at the end of their two-day 10th forum on Joint Review of Decentralization (JARD), among them, the resolve to invite private partners in doing business.


The resolutions contained in a draft Aide Memoire are meant to ensure that local governments run their activities like businesses to enhance efficiency in service delivery.

In order to attract private partnership at the district level, the local governments agreed to hold annual district business for platforms that will help them identify investment opportunities and attract local and foreign investors.

In his closing remarks, state minister for Local Government, Alex Onzima, said in developing countries, civil unrest is always as a result of failure by government to provide essential services to the people.

"I am from a humble background. I am always touched by what disadvantaged families go through. It is our responsibility as local and central governments to provide quality health and education to the people. Some of us are here today because we received quality and affordable education," said Onzima.

Onzima called for unity among local leaders in order to realize the intended fruits of decentralized form of government.

Other key resolutions made include profiling of the districts so as to indicate key economic and social activities for easy marketing to investors. The profiling of the districts will form the basis for assessing the performance of districts since 1992 when decentralization of services was effected by the Central Government to the local governments.

The district and municipality leaders also resolved to ensure that all public land in their respective areas of jurisdiction is gazetted and titles issued for them as a measure to bar-off encroachers.  

The local governments also called for the development of cities across the country based on their functionality instead of the current stipulation by the law requiring a population of 500, 000 people in order for a town to be granted city status.

A number of leaders interviewed by New Vision on the key resolutions hailed the move as a leap forward for the country to transform its economy to the middle class level as enshrined in the Vision 2040, a blue print aimed at transforming the country's peasantry status.

This came a day after the local governments on Monday demanded that their budgetary allocations be increased from the current 15% to 38% of the national budget.

This may see sh5.32 trillion allocated to local governments, going by the proposed sh14 trillion for the 2015/16 financial.
Mbale district LC5 chairman, Bernard Mujasi, said the resolutions reached will have far reaching implications in growing local government economies.

"In Mbale, we have so far managed to attract two factories – a mattress factory in Busiu Sub-County and starch factory in Busiba Sub-County. We went out and looked for investors and gave them land. We also gave Busitema University 50 acres in Mbale to set up a Medical School. It is high time we operated local government like business," said Mujasi.

Mukono Municipality Mayor, Johnson Muyanja Senyonga, welcomed the resolutions saying Mukono stands to benefit tremendously if it can be made a tourism city.

"We have River Sezibwa which has unique meandering features, Mukono Hill from where one can view the whole of Kampala city and Jinja town. We are also developing tourism kits for all town councils in the district to market our tourist attraction sites," said Senyonga.

Ismail Onzu, Katakwi district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), said the move to secure public land is timely since most government projects are constructed on land whose ownership is still in doubt.

"I see a situation where we build schools, hospitals and roads on land that is not ours (government). We need to secure government land to safeguard the projects we are undertaking so that an individual cannot exploit the loophole to claim government property," said Onzu.

 

Local govts invite private partners for business

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