Jinja City Hall: It should be the case that councilors look forward to plenary since they get to have it only once every two months. It is not the case for the Jinja City Councilors; not even when the sitting is as important as the Mayor tabling the city’s annual budget estimates or unveiling their new Clerk.
When Mayor Peter Kasolo walked into the chambers to present the budget this afternoon, less than half of the councilors were present to receive the document that will guide the performance of the city in the 2023-2024 financial year.
“All the dodging councilors will not be paid their sitting allowances,” Council Speaker Bernard Mbayo said in frustration. “We have six-seven councils and six committee council sittings a year. But you find a councilor dodging the council sitting and after they call for the allowances he or she did not sign for.”
The dodging behavior was a welcome gesture to the newly posted City Clerk, Mr Edward Lwanga, who the Mayor introduced to the half empty Plenary Chambers.
Speaker Mbayo urged the new City Clerk to take note of the behavior of the the team he is going to work with including the fact that their dress code and decorum during Council sittings is wanting.
“The heads of department are not here and how are we going to address the budget when the heads or departments are not here,” Speaker Mbayo wondered.
City Mayor Kasolo warned the councilors, calling them unserious and hell bent on failing his regime. He however said such schemes will not see luck.
“I thank all the councilors who have managed to attend the sitting and with you every ambition I have will come to exist and I am assuring you that with this new hard working new City Clerk we have got, if they do not transfer him early, all of us we shall be back to this council even the coming term,” he said.
It’s mandatory for the councilors to attend every meeting which is held at the city hall, since there are only 6 council sittings in the financial year.
“We promised people to work for them but some of our colleagues rarely come for these meetings,” Ms Juliet Agnes Kadama, one of the councilors said. “If a councilor misses such an important meeting then it shows the unserious levels of some people.”
She added,” There are those we know that they think their absence will cost the city but I want to assure them that the city has to move and it will move on smoothly whether they engage themselves in the city council programs or not.”
Mr James Musoke, a resident of East Boma said dodging sittings is the reason there is too much disorganization in the city and it is a sign that the City has unserious and uncommitted that who were sent to represent the people.
“If you ask them about anything in the council they say everything is fine but now budget is tabled when some councilors are not present and yet we need a favorable and balanced budget which caters for all divisions in the city,” he said.
The City Spokesperson Kitto Rajab said those who missed will not get remunerated.
“They know very well that they receive their sitting allowances after the sitting, so if they miss then it means they will not receive their allowances,
“These sittings partly contribute to the activeness of the councilor so if he or she dodges then it means the service delivery to the community will lower down so I urge all the councilors to do their work since they promised people that this will be their main jobs.”