The State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the Office of President Peter Ogwang has ordered a forensic audit in the Mbale City revenue collection for the last four financial years.
Mbale City has in the past struggled to collect local revenue. In the previous financial year, the council suffered a shortfall of more than two billion Shillings in local revenue collections. It collected 900 million shillings out of a projected 3.5 billion Shillings.
In 2017/2018 only 2 Billion Shillings was collected instead of the 3.9 billion was realized.
Meeting Mbale City leaders on Friday, Ogwang said that there is a lot of mess in Mbale City especially in the management of local revenues. He questioned how the market which was constructed by the central government at 26 Billion Shillings can generate 1 Million Shillings.
In 2017, the government commissioned the Mbale Central Market which was constructed at shillings 26 billion. The market has however had challenges of raising local revenue and there have been wrangles between the vendors and market leadership over the provision of utility services like water and electricity.
The market has also failed to conduct fresh elections after the term of office of the current leaders expired years three years ago. Ogwang ordered the Resident City Commissioner and the town clerk to hold fresh elections in the market.
He ordered the Chief Finance Officer of Mbale City Richard Mabala to investigate the financial records about the then Mbale Municipality for the last four financial years.
The Minister attributed the poor revenue collection to corrupt officials.
The town Clerk Mbale City David Kyansanku says that the city is implementing the online local revenue system which has helped them to increase the revenues.
“We are also working hard to make sure that all processes of revenue are followed and banked, we have introduced the IRAS system, an online system which manages money,” he said.