ULGA Highlights Reforms to Strengthen Decentralization Policy as Review Process Kicks off

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ULGA Secretary General, Gertrude Gamwera

The Uganda Local Government Authority (ULGA) has welcomed the move by the National Planning Authority for a comprehensive review of decentralization.

Speaking during a review workshop organized by Action Aid in conjunction with ULGA, Gertrude Gamwera the ULGA Secretary General noted that the review of the Decentralization policy comes on a welcome note following their continued plea to government.

“We are welcoming this evaluation, I appreciate government for having responded and hided to our call for a review of the decentralization system of governance, this is an indication that government has interest in seeing that this policy works,” Gamwera said.

The ULGA boss said that so much is going a miss in terms of the new legal and policy regimes and it has been curtailing the efforts of Local Governments to deliver as expected within the meaning of the Constitutional mandate which talks about transfer of power to local government to be able to implement projects and programs.

Gamwera noted that the current practice is a form of recentralize were monies are collected by local governments then sent to central government to determine how much they send back to offer services to citizens.

“We expect to see that things that had gone wrong are corrected, we want to see local governments being given real power; the discretion to be able to plan and decide with their citizens allowing them to participate in planning and implementation of projects should be left to local governments,” Gamwera said.

She added that, “We need to see vibrant local governments better resourced, churning out policies passed by councils, this will also help in the implementation of national policies.”

Gamwera added that there is a narrative that local governments have failed to implement government programs due to lack of capacity but this is as a result of undermining the due processes.

She also noted that the implementation of projects by government agencies and Ministries should also be revised since it’s the role of local governments to carry out the implementation.

“The role of Ministries is policy making and supervisory, local governments are the implementers, allow them to play their role as stipulated in the constitution,” Gamwera said.

During the same event, ULGA Chairperson, Joseph Lamonyang called on the central government to consider increasing the budgetary allocations to Local governments from 9% of the national budget to 38%.

Lamonyang said that most of government programs can’t be fully implemented due to lack of adequate budgetary allocations.