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Local Council Leaders from Western Region Struggle with Exorbitant Taxation, Advocate for Salary Enhancement

Efforts will be made to increase the emoluments of division-level officials from 30,000/-, with a report to be provided to the Ministry of Local Government.

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By Ivan Kaahwa

Local council leaders, represented by the Uganda Urban Council Speakers Association in the western region, are calling for an increase in salaries for lower local government speakers and the repeal of exorbitant taxes on their allowances, which currently stand at 30,000/- per month.

They argue that despite their meager emoluments, they face the burden of high taxation, with 30% of their allowances being deducted, which they believe should not be subjected to tax under financial management regulations. Nasaasira Henry, Chairman of the Uganda Urban Council Speakers Association Western Region, emphasizes that while city speakers receive monthly salaries, other speakers should also be considered for similar benefits, along with the provision of full-time offices essential for effective operations and coordination.

The current situation, where speakers are required to visit workplaces once every two months for oversight, is deemed detrimental to coordination efforts and hampers the timely achievement of objectives for which they were elected into office.

Nasaasira also points out that a lack of subscription fees from members has hindered the initiation of significant development projects, as logistical fees collected are often immediately spent on daily activities, sometimes resulting in deficits.

Furthermore, the speakers are advocating for their participation in Kyankwanzi retreats with informed facilitators and meetings with the president.

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Nasaasira Henry, Chairman of the Uganda Urban Council Speakers Association Western Region

These concerns were raised during the Regional Annual General Meeting for the association held in Kasese Municipality, presided over by State Minister for National Guidance, Godfrey Kabbyanga. Minister Kabbyanga acknowledged the issues raised and made the following observations:

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Godfrey Kabbyanga, State Minister for National Guidance

– Town clerks should administratively set aside funds for councilors’ oversight activities, without crowding these activities with technical officers who utilize resources meant for councilors.

– While the issue of emoluments of councilors has been considered by the Minister for Local Government, Raphael Magyezi, financial constraints persist, with priorities currently placed on scientists and artists.

– The Ministry of Finance implements taxation policies based on policy and tax bills, but speakers are encouraged to continue advocating for a reversal of the current taxation scheme.

– Efforts will be made to increase the emoluments of division-level officials from 30,000/-, with a report to be provided to the Ministry of Local Government.

– Minister Kabbyanga will engage the Minister for the Presidency to consider the inclusion of speakers, deputies, and town clerks in Kyankwanzi retreats, as per their request.

Swaibu Musene, Speaker of Kasese Municipal Council, emphasizes that participation in Kyankwanzi retreats would enhance leadership skills and national ideology among speakers, deputies, and town clerks, ultimately benefiting society.

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Ukasha Swaibu Musene, Speaker of Kasese Municipal Council

Minister Kabbyanga advises speakers to collaborate closely with mayors to facilitate development, stressing the importance of a harmonized decision-making process during planning to avoid adverse consequences for the population.

The association extended congratulations to Minister Kabbyanga on his reinstatement as State Minister for National Guidance in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

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Local Council Leaders from Western Region Struggle with Exorbitant Taxation, Advocate for Salary Enhancement 51

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