Hon. Minister Sir, for the Government of Uganda to spend over shs 100bn in LC elections is not value for money given the way the Local councils conduct business. Those of us who were old enough by the time the Resistance councils came into being can testify that not much money was needed to conduct those elections. It is not worth to shs 100bn on LC elections given the prevailing poverty and poor service delivery in a number of areas of Government. It is also true that the LC's cannot serve the purpose one would expect because they are greatly compromised. They fear that tell people to do development/community work may cost them votes. The way forward is to change the law such that the chairpersons are appointed say by the district and then a few councilors are elected. That way, service delivery may be enhanced. But spending over shs 100 on LC elections is mis conceived in a badly impoverished country Uganda is.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
In the photo a big hole is seen in the road. If LCs were performing, they would endeavour to put a sign warning the road users about the danger.
The water in the photo is stagnant. It would be the LC's to ensure that something is done, but because these people don't want to antagonize anybody, the place remains like it is above.
The place in the photo is not a right garbage dumping place. However, simply because the LC's are there but toothless, the area is just as seen in the photo.
LC's in place and serious would not allow vehicles like the one in the photo to just dump garbage. But who cares?
The dogs in the photo would long be dead if only serious LC's were in place.
GOVERNMENT DRAGGED TO COURT OVER LC ELECTIONS
Government has 45 days to conduct lower local council elections or face suit. This follows a notice of intention to sue filed by Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze.
Government has 45 days to conduct lower local council elections or face suit.
This follows a notice of intention to sue filed by Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze.
Nambooze wants court to declare the LC1 posts illegal since government has failed to hold elections as required by the constitution. The law provides that the LC1 elections shall be conducted every 5 years.
The last time Uganda held LC1 elections was in 2001. In 2006, government allowed the continued existence of the office despite the fact that a new system of governance under the multiparty democracy had been put in place. Nambooze also wants court to declare the lower local council activities illegal as there have been no elections since the expiry of the existing local councils in 2006.
She wants court to declare that no person or institution shall require a person to have recommendations, identification or letters from the existing Local Council One. This will include courts of judicature that normally demand a suspect to produce an LC letter before getting bail.
The MP, who is also the Shadow Minister for local government, wants the powers of LC 1 transferred to the LC111 until their elections are held. Nambooze argues that some of the originally elected LC officials have since died while others have migrated to other areas. This, according to her, has allowed some imposters who have illegally taken over office at the expense of the public.
Paul Bukenya, the Deputy Public Relations officer Electoral Commission told URN that the elections have not been conducted owing to a gap in the funding. He says the commission presented its budget and program to parliament but government has not yet funded the elections.
In July, the EC boss, Dr. Badru Kigunddu informed parliament that the commission needed 128 billion shillings for the Local council elections. Government on the other hand only provided about 19 billion shillings leaving a deficit of about 109 billion shillings. Besides, the creation of new districts has also affected the entire process. Currently Uganda has 114 districts up from 80 districts in 2006.
Read more: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=38958#ixzz1uXkl75R1
VIOLATING UGANDA'S CONSTITUTION WITH INFINITY
Saturday, 20 August 2011 15:07 By Stephen Kafeero
Local Councils in office by false pretence?
Uganda could be headed to 10 years with illegal Local Councils running the local government affairs. The term of office of Local Councils I, II and IV ended in 2006 but new office bearers have never been elected and the status quo is likely to persist for unknown period.
The Electoral Commission (EC) Spokesman Charles Ochora says they requisitioned Shs133 billion for the LC elections but government provided only Shs19 billion. He says EC had planned to hold the elections this month. Ochora charged that until the government provides the balance of Shs114 billion, there will be no LC elections.
Uganda reverted from the one-party state Movement system to a multiparty dispensation in 2005.
In 2006, the EC attempted to hold LC elections under the disbanded Movement system but the move was thwarted when Rubaramira Ruranga, a senior member of the FDC party, petitioned court which upheld his petition that such elections would be unconstitutional since the country had already reverted to a multiparty system.
The enabling law amendments that prevented the elections in 2006 were passed in April 2010 but no election has been held. Only elections at LCIII, district, parliamentary and presidential level have been held under the multiparty system since the expiry of their respective terms in 2006.
Ruranga says the NRM government is delaying election of LCs because it fears democracy at the grassroots.
In some areas like Colline Village LCI in Mukono Central Division the chairman and his deputy died. Only one member of the committee is present and rest left the village. All villages countrywide have no valid or properly constituted LCs.
Local Councils are part of the wider local government and the judiciary and they perform such functions as requirements of the respective arms of government dictate. For example, LCs are part of the justice system and perform such functions of court to adjudicate local cases like land and other property disputes. They also have higher courts of appeal up to LCIII. This means that without new elections, the existing LCs are invalid and cannot preside over any case or pass any legally binding judgement. This does not only affect their courts. Any other decision, document or authority the current LCs give in their official capacity cannot have any legal force.
For example to stand surety to a suspect in court, a person is required to have a valid LC letter, which the current LCs cannot issue because they are invalid in law.
“Who will defend the law if lawyers too ask for LC documents which they know do not exist legally,” says Ruranga.
This means that any activity or transaction in law which requires the authority of the LCs cannot be legally executed under the existing LCs.
Article 176 (3) of the constitution provides that the system of local governments shall be based on democratically elected councils on the basis of universal adult suffrage and Article 181 (4) stipulates that all local government councils shall be elected every four years. This means that the government has been in breach of the constitution for five years now in regard to the election of LCs and is still perpetuating the violation with infinity.
Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige deflected the responsibility onto the Ministry of Finance, which he said is supposed to provide funds for the Local Council elections. He said until the ministry provides the funds, the current unconstitutional LCs will remain in place.
However, despite the Constitutional Court ruling that the current LCs are unconstitutional, Mwesige insisted they are “operating legally and within the confines of the law.”
Senior lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi dismissed Mwesige’s claim and asserted that the existing Local Councils are illegal and whatever activities they sanctioned or continue to sanction are constitutional and challengeable in court.
Peter Nyombi, the Attorney General, says the LC elections will be held when the required funds are available, but did not give the timeline. He also reiterated his colleague Mwesige’s position that the current LCs will remain in office until new ones are elected.
Kampala Mayor Erias Lukwago reinforced Rwakafuzi’s contention that the current Local Councils are illegal and whatever instruments they sign have no legal force. “Do you expect me to go on as lord mayor after 2016 with out elections?” asks Lukwago.
He says the LCs’ continued stay in office amounts to a constitutional and rule-of-law crisis.
Banks and other institutions continue to ask for LC letters without bothering to know that the current LC leadership is not qualified to issue such documents. According to Fabian Kasi, the MD of Centenary Bank, the local councils play a vital role in the bank’s Know Your Customer policy because they help the bank verify its customers.
“We are still using the documents from local councils, we have not looked into the details of whether they are legal or not,” Kasi said.
Mukono Municipality MP and Local Government Shadow Minister Betty Nambooze dismissed the claim that the government has no funds for the LC elections. She says cites the ruling NRM which held its grassroots party elections all over the country. To claim that the government has no funds for LC elections, Nambooze says, is to falsely suggest that the NRM party has more money than the government.
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