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Leaders support Gombolola bimeeza

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th January 2009 03:00 AM

SEVERAL leaders have welcomed the Government proposal to set up public fora known as barazas at gombolola (sub-county) level for local leaders to explain to the people how they utilise public funds.

SEVERAL leaders have welcomed the Government proposal to set up public fora known as barazas at gombolola (sub-county) level for local leaders to explain to the people how they utilise public funds.

By Cyprian Musoke
and Madinah Tebajjukira

SEVERAL leaders have welcomed the Government proposal to set up public fora known as barazas at gombolola (sub-county) level for local leaders to explain to the people how they utilise public funds.

While calling for the move to be replicated at higher levels, many, however, expressed scepticism on whether there would be money to fund the initiative.

In his address at the 23rd National Resistance Movement victory celebrations at Kololo ceremonial grounds on Monday, President Yoweri Museveni directed the Minister for the Presidency, Beatrice Wabudeya, to set up the fora as one of the moves to stamp out corruption.

Kampala mayor Nasser Ssebaggala praised the move as one that would help augment the work of internal and external auditors, the Inspector General of Government and the public accounts committees.

He urged the President to replicate the move to higher levels of Government like districts and government ministries.

“It is the people who elected us, they are entitled to know how we are using their money,” he said.

The general duties minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Adolf Mwesige, said: “In the presence of the beneficiaries, leaders will explain how they have used resources for the people will see whether they have been cheated.”
Democratic Party president Ssebaana Kizito said the creation of the sub-county barazas is a duplication of services.

He contends that leaders have already been using radio bimeeza (talk shows) to tell the people how they utilise the money.

“The problem is that the Auditor General’s recommendations are never implemented. If people handling public funds see that those implicated by the Auditor General are not punished they get encouragement,” he said.

“Most of these public officials are cadres of the NRM, yet the same Government is going to spend money to deceive people that it is doing something,” he said.

Peoples Progressive Party president Jaberi Bidandi Ssali said the ‘ebimeza’ plan would be good for the country if it worked.

Bidandi said the President had declared war against corruption, and sometimes publicly reprimanded ministers and Government officials over the vice.

“We want it to extend to cabinet and all organs of the Government because they are the primary seats for corruption,” said Bidandi, also former local government minister.

Uganda Peoples Congress deputy secretary general Chris Opoka said in order for such a platform to be effective, there is need to amend the Local Government Act to give it an enabling law.

“The President cannot just say let there be barazas and then corruption is stamped out,” said Opoka.

State minister for Northern Uganda David Wakikona said the directive will help to curb corruption because informed people are not easy to cheat.

Ssebuliba Mutumba, the Kawempe South MP opposed the idea arguing that if implemented, it will cause more expenditure of the tax payers money.

He argued that if the Government is on a campaign to curb corruption, it should use the existing FM stations which have wider coverage.

Margaret Muhanga Mugisa said: “If you start with sub-counties, even district officials who divert funds will become afraid.”

Rose Namayanjja (Nakaseke) said the MPs would, with the initaitive have the opportunity to know how sub-counties spend funds from the Government.
The Kampala Central MP, Erias Lukwago, had no kind words.

“President Museveni is governing like Amin who dreamt of something and the following day he wanted it implemented without consultation,” said Lukwago.
He advised the President to stick to the institutions of accountability which are provided for in the Constitution.

FDC shadow minister Reagan Okumu, also Aswa MP said people in the villages need delivery of services and not explanations.

Leaders support Gombolola bimeeza

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