Kabarole Chief Administrative Officer warns of dire financial times as the district local government administration deals with a Ushs 380m debt.
Kabarole local government is in a financial crisis. In a letter from the Kabarole Chief Administrative Officer Juma Nyende to the LC5 chairperson and all department heads says the district is highly indebted. Nyende says the debt was caused by the huge court costs the district was forced to pay that resulted from numerous legal challenges that it has lost since 2009. The Chief Administrative Officer says the crisis means that all staff facilitation will be drastically scaled down and a number of district activities and public services will be suspended. Kabarole local government was dragged to court for the illegal sacking of the former Chief Administrative Officer, Joseph Rwabukuku. It was also sued for firing the former Chief Finance Officer and four other senior district employees. Court found the district guilty of illegally sacking the staff. It said the local administration flouted public service rules and procedures and never granted the officials – who were all accused of abuse of office and mismanaging public funds – the right to respond to the charges against them. Kabarole local government was directed to pay a total of 380 million shillings to the sacked employees. There are reports that the district may place a freeze on its accounts to avoid payment of the debt or to control spending. Nyende says this isn’t so. He says the process of solving the crisis is slow and payment of the damages will take time, but he is working with the district council to manage the process. Nyende says the new Chief Finance Officer and the District Planner are drafting a proposal for a supplementary budget to ensure that all essential services remain intact. ###