Kamuli in crisis as district speaker strikes over pay

Wednesday July 23 2014

Kamuli District speaker Samuel Bamwole (R) with district NRM administrator Sanubi Namusisi (L)

Kamuli District speaker Samuel Bamwole (R) with district NRM administrator Sanubi Namusisi (L) and presidential adviser Moses Kizige at a recent function. Mr Bamwole has refused to work until he gets his salary. PHOTO BY SAM CALEB OPIO  



Kamuli District local government is in crisis after the district speaker refused to convene a council meeting to discuss the district’s budget for this financial year over delayed payment of his salary and allowances.

Mr Samuel Bamwole told this newspaper on Monday that he will not convene the meeting until district authorities clear his arrears.
“I am not asking for a bribe but my dues and I will not work on an empty stomach,” Mr Bamwole said.
He, however, declined to disclose the exact amount of money the district owes him but said for several months, he has not received his salary, allowances and facilitation for his office.

The speaker also alleged that there is lack of coordination between his office, the district chairperson, and the chief administrative officer, a scenario which he blamed on lack of transparency.

The district chairperson, Ms Salaamu Musumba, described the situation as unfortunate, but said Mr Bamwole’s claims will be verified before a decision is made on whether or not to pay him.

The chief administrative officer, Mr Felix Esoku, said failure to pass the budget has paralysed work at the district. He, however, insisted that he cannot honour a debt which was never brought to his attention at the time he took office.

“We already have funds in our coffers, but cannot spend them because the budget has never been passed,” Mr Esoku said. “Worse still, we risk a penalty for this, but I cannot simply pay because all this talk about arrears is news to me,” he added.