By Robert Edwomu
The Ministry of Finance has halted the release of Second, Third and Fourth Quarter of local revenue to Soroti City because of failure by the City Authority to pay back the advanced Shs420 Million.
Paul Omer, the Interim City Mayor says the City has not received 3 Quarter Local Revenue Releases for FY 2020/2021 because of non-remittance of money (Local Revenue to Central Treasury.)
Omer says Soroti City only received the First Quarter release after confrontations between the Town Clerk and the business community that cried foul of paralyzed businesses in town as a result of decomposing garbage.
Omer states that the crisis is not due to lack of money by the City but taxes are collected by the Divisions and misused by the Accounting Officer, Moses Otimong who is the acting City Town Clerk.
He intimates that most businesses operating in town are issued with receipts but in the books of accounts the receipts are not reflected.
He notes that at the time he Chairperson Eastern Division, the Division would collect Shs3billion but since Otimong came to Soroti, Transparency and accountability issues started emerging.
Otimong however in his response said the crisis is due to the corona virus pandemic which has affected the Local revenue collection and businesses generally.
“We have appealed to government to allocate a special funding to the Municipalities and the Cities because can’t handle the burden at hand with the local collections,” Otimong said.
The City is currently choked with a number of issues including undisposed garbage, poor drainage channels, and non-payment of councilors’ allowances.