Parliament has approved a statutory instrument extending local council office bearers’ tenure by six months. The local council leadership’s tenure expired earlier on Monday July 10, 2023. The current LC I and LC II leaders were voted into office in 2018.
Following the expiry of their tenure, the Minister for Local Government, Raphael Magyezi said the government had postponed the LC elections since it did not have the Shs59 billion required by the Electoral Commission to organize them.
This prompted Opposition leaders in Parliament led by Shadow Ministers, Betty Ethel Naluyima (Local Government), Brenda Nabukenya (Education), Gorreth Namugga (Science and Innovation), Helen Nakimuli (Fisheries) and Yusuf Nsibambi (Works and Transport) to issue a 30-day ultimatum for government to organize the Local Council (LC) elections.
Naluyima said that the government’s decision to postpone the elections is illegal as it contravenes the provisions of the Constitution and Section 170 of the Local Government Act which provides for the election of local government and administrative councils every five years.
Under the Third Schedule of the Local Government Act, the minister can extend the tenure of local leaders for a period not exceeding six months if the country is in a state of war or if a state of emergency has been declared under the Constitution, Naluyima stated.
The MPs argued that without fresh elections being held, the current LC I chairpersons cannot issue legally acceptable recommendations for identification documents, endorse property sale agreements or settle community disputes.
Appearing before parliament earlier today Magyezi, assured MPs that there would be timely elections within the designated period. MPs back the move, citing smoother functioning of activities needing local council approval.