Local government leaders from the north and the northeast want Uganda’s development partners to unlock the financial assistance that they withheld due to corruption in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
They said the freezing of US$372 million (Shs967 billion) in financial assistance to Uganda has compromised the local governments’ ability to complete infrastructural projects.
However, the partners should channel the funds directly to the intended beneficiaries, the leaders said during a public dialogue yesterday in Kampala.
“Should the donors resume the funding, they should send the funds directly to the district local governments,” said Mr John Lorot, the regional chairperson of the Uganda Local Governments Association.
He said they have lost faith in the OPM since it has mismanaged the $600 million (Shs1.5 trillion) purse Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) meant to restore infrastructure in 55 districts that were affected by the 20-year Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency.
Mr Basil Cox Abaa Ezamah, the programme officer for Community Action for Rural Development Strategy in Arua District, blamed the development partners for misdirecting the financial assistance.
“If the donors say they are not giving the money, it is fine,” said Mr Ezamah. “The donors are the problem; when it is time for planning, they look at civil society as an enemy. But when it comes to embezzlement, they ask civil society to help.”
But Mr Patrick Okello Oryema, the Nwoya District chairperson, said districts under the PRDP are now having problems completing some infrastructural projects because of a shortage of funds.