TOP
Monday,August 10,2020 16:58 PM
  • Home
  • Archive
  • LCs to earn monthly allowances, gratuity

LCs to earn monthly allowances, gratuity

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th December 2009 03:00 AM

FOR the first time, LC5 chairpersons and district councillors will be paid gratuity at the end of every year. Councillors will also get a monthly allowance in addition to the sitting allowances they have been receiving.

FOR the first time, LC5 chairpersons and district councillors will be paid gratuity at the end of every year. Councillors will also get a monthly allowance in addition to the sitting allowances they have been receiving.

By Joshua Kato

FOR the first time, LC5 chairpersons and district councillors will be paid gratuity at the end of every year. Councillors will also get a monthly allowance in addition to the sitting allowances they have been receiving.

This was revealed by local government minister, Adolf Mwesige during the 16 Annual General Meeting of the Uganda Local Governments Association (ULGA) held in Hoima last weekend.

Local leaders have been lobbying for gratuity like other salaried government employees.
“I have been lobbying for this since 1993,” says John Wycliffe Karazarwe, LC5 chairman, Ntungamo and ULGA president.

Who is eligible?

Village chairpersons (LC1s) will receive a financial package at the end of every year as recognition of their work.
Although there has been a promise to pay them gratuity, it was never clear when and how the LC5s would be paid.
Mwesige gave Cabinet a proposal of giving 40% gratuity to local leaders. However, cabinet settled for 30%.

Since LC5 chairpersons earn about sh2m per month, they would get at least sh0.6m as gratuity per month. That means they will get sh7.2m as gratuity per year.
With an addition sh0.6m to be given to each of the 81 (this year) or 103 (starting next Financial Year) district chairpersons every month, public expenditure will increase by at least sh60m to sh720m per year.

In the current set up, councillors are paid only when they sit. In some districts, councillors sit less than twice a month. The allowances they share must not exceed 20% of the previous Financial Year’s local revenue collections.
In many districts, low local revenue collections limit the councillors’ take-home package.

“Cabinet agreed that councillors be paid a monthly package, so that even if they do not sit in the council, they have got something to turn to,” Mwesigye says.
“It will be a token of recognition that will be paid at the end of every year,” he explains

How will it work?

Mwesigye says cabinet authorised him to handle local leaders’ remuneration through statutory instruments, with flexibility.
District deputy speakers who have also been earning per sitting, will earn a fixed monthly allowance.

Speakers will be paid a monthly allowance by the Government. This means that starting next Financial Year, the Government will take over the overall payment of all district political and civil servants.
At the moment, Government pays LC5 and LC3 chairpersons sh2m and 0.3m respectively.

Until 2005, all earnings by the district political leaders were handled by their respective districts. Resistance Councils (RCs) started in the 1980s as volunteers.
Even after they changed into Local Councils (LCs) in 1995, they were largely voluntary.

In most villages, leaders devised ways of earning money, through stamp fees. However, according to the current LC Elections Act, a person has to resign from their government job before he or she is elected to any LC post.

Some leaders skeptical

Some of the chairmen were sceptical about how the money will be paid.
“You realise that our term is ending. How do we return to the districts to chase for our gratuity?” asked Rukungiri LC5 chairman Zedekiah Karokora.
Some of the chairmen suggested being paid on a monthly basis because they have very little time left in office.

However, according to Mwesige, this suggestion is ridiculous. “Gratuity is supposed to help you on a rainy day after you have left work. Receiving it on a monthly basis does not make sense,” he advised. They agreed to be paid on an annual basis.

“We shall only believe when we receive the payment because we have heard similar promises before,” Kibaale’s George Namyaka was heard telling Nakasongola’s Wandera Muruuli.

Local leaders want arrears, including those of former chairmen to be paid. Mwesige on the other hand, thinks this cannot be concretised until data about former chairpersons is verified.
Government will spend more on the benefits of local leaders, even as complaints about the size of public expenditure abound.

High expenditure

The Government has acquired over 600 motorcycles for LC3 chairpersons to ease their transportation in the sub-counties. In the next Financial Year, village chairpersons will get bicycles.

On average, one bicycle costs sh150,000 each a motorbike costs sh3m. Since there are over 40,000 villages in Uganda, the Government will spend at least sh6b on the bicycles and motorbikes.

Mwesige downplayed the possibility of leaders owning the bicycles because they have Ministry of Local Government number plates and belong to the office.

“When you leave office you do not take the bicycle with you but you can only use it as long as you are in office,” he says.

LCs to earn monthly allowances, gratuity

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author