Mwesige Intervenes in Sheema Dispute

2119 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
The meeting was allegedly blocked by Kurihira after he declared it illegal.

Adolf Mwesige, the minister of local government has rushed to Sheema district to resolve the stalemate between the chief administrative Officer and District Councillors. Two months ago, Sheema LC V councilors resolved to suspend the district council after the CAO Godfrey Kurihira refused to pay them their allowances and withdrew the clerk to council.
This paralysed service delivery to residents. On April 4th, the district speaker convened an emergency meeting to see how best to save 1.08b shillings that was remitted to the district as capital development fund as the financial year comes to an end. According to Jackson Musinguzi, the councilor for Person with Disabilities, the money was meant for extending safe water to several sub counties in the district; improve on the road network and health facilities. The meeting was allegedly blocked by Kurihira after he declared it illegal.

As a result, Kadiri Kafureeka, the district speaker suspended the council indefinitely until central Government intervenes. Charles Tugume, the councilor for Kagarama Sub County alleges that despite the fact that the contracts committee awarded several tenders, the CAO refused to sign the contract agreements. He says that as a result, the district failed to utilize the funds meant for the project and risks returning it to the national treasury.

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Tugume accuses the CAO and LC V chairperson Pastori Mugisha who doubles as the district works secretary of undermining the council and doctoring minutes to suit their own interests. Following a meeting with the councilors, Mwesige has promised to institute a commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations against the district officials.

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Mwesige has also ordered the CAO and his technical team to utilize all the money and ensure that no single coin out of the 14 billion shillings disbursed to the district by central Government is returned to the treasury.

Pastori Mugisha, the Sheema LC V chairman declined to comment on the allegations made against him by the council. The CAO is away in China on official duties.