Councillors reject scorecard ratings

Councillor Gertrude Balinda speaks against assessment of councillors performance by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment. This was during a Kabarole District Council session on Wednesday. PHOTO BY francis mugerwa

KABAROLE- Councillors representing different sub-counties in Kabarole District Council have protested the assessment of their performance in the scorecard released by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) for 2013/2014.

ACODE runs a programme of local governments scorecard where it assesses performance of local council leaders on basis of their participation in plenary sessions, committees, motions and special skills to ensure improved service delivery and accountability in their respective areas.

“ACODE is putting a rope on our necks as we approach elections in 2016. Our opponents are going to use these results and our voters will use them as a basis to assess our performance,” Mr Joseph Mashuhuko, a councillor for Karambi Sub-county charged during a district council sitting on Wednesday.

Mr Mashuhuko said despite ACODE assessing councillors, they have failed to task government to provide enough facilitation to councillors to run activities.

“I receive Shs70, 000 as my salary from the council. This money can’t be enough even for fuel for one week and one is compelled to cover the whole area he represents, not considering the size and other factors,” Mr Mashuhuko argued.
Ms Gertrude Balinda Kabaseke, the female councillor representing Rutete Sub-county, said ACODE researchers did not give the councillors sufficient time to prepare for the assessment.

She argued that since their research was evidence-based, councillors were not given enough time to gather the required proof of their performance or service delivery.

The district chairman, Mr Richard Rwabuhinga, said the government’s delay in releasing funds for local governments has crippled their ability to deliver services to the people.

“I received Shs85m on March 30, 2014 and I was asked to spend that money that day or else it would be taken back to the Treasury. This money was planned to be spent in three months. It’s shaming when such money is taken back and the leaders are “hanged” for failing to perform yet the government releases funds late,” Mr Rwabuhinga said.

Mr Emmanuel Tugume, the Kasenda Sub-county councillor, said he has invested a lot in tourism but he scored zero in the special skills category despite his contribution to the local communities.

He said more investigation was required to be done in the said areas in the district.

In response, Dr Wilson Muhwezi from ACODE said the majority of councillors had no evidence to challenge the scorecard assessment.

“They are lacking skills of documenting whatever they do,” he said.
Mr Smart Bwango, the clerk to council, said the councillors need to be trained in documenting their activities.

“I face a challenge; a councillor will attend commissioning of a road, visit a school, but he or she does not write in the visitors’ book. In the report he or she will be considered absent. But while presenting a report the councillor will tell you that I even greeted you that day, don’t you remember? Such people deserve such (assessment) results,” Mr Bwango said.

Mr Clovis Mugabo, the district speaker, said majority of the councillors don’t know how to debate issues of national importance.

“They don’t present issues on health, education, infrastructure, etc but focus on conflicts in the council and deviate from the core issues,” he said. Mr Mugabo challenged councillors always to know what to present to council and how to present it with facts.

The score

The Hakibale Sub-county councillor, Ms Stella Kyorampe, said she emerged the best performer in the country and the district because she recorded every activity she did. Ms Kyorampa attained 86 per cent in the scorecard, making her the best performer in the country.

She was followed by Mr Moses Ikagobya of Buhesi Sub-county with 85 per cent, Mr John Manume of Katebwa Sub-county (83 per cent), Mr Joseph Mashuhuko of Karambi Sub-county (81 per cent) and Sylvia Rwabwogo of East Division (80 per cent).

Other concillors attained different scores in declining order with the worst performer being Ms Judith Nyakaisiki of Western Division, who attained a paltry 8 per cent.


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