Eastern Leaders Push For LC1, LC2 Elections

Locals have urged government to refocus attention onto local council leaders other than relying much on legislators for decisions of development.

By David Oduut

Local leaders in Eastern Uganda have demanded government to speed up the process of holding the lower local council elections so as to ease service delivery at grassroots level.

The electoral commission had early this year set the LC1 and LC2 elections to be held by the end of June but later complained of lack of funds to facilitate the process.

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However, illness parliament subsequently okayed a less costly open voting method (lining up behind candidates) to help reduce costs.

The leaders speaking under their umbrella Uganda Local Governments Association ULGA are disappointed that the electoral commission has since not lived its word.

While speaking to ChimpReports, ailment some LC3, more about LC5 chairpersons of Eastern Uganda Districts say it is long overdue for government to look into bridging the gap created by lack of functioning yet recognized  LC1 systems in villages.

Also expressing concern are district speakers and Chief Administrative officers within the region.

James Ebiau the LC3 chairperson Atiira Sub County in Serere district laments that the discrepancies in service delivery at community level is as a result of an inefficient systems at the lower local councils.

“LC1 and LC2s are a major link in the chain of development, taking 15 years without a proper lower local council system is also a strong barrier to service deliver in Uganda, so I suggest government should consider holding their elections as soon as possible,” Ebiau said with emotion.

Ebiau reveals that most committees at lower local councils doted in only a few villages in the country are “old and scattered” and cannot efficiently deliver hence an urgent need for overhaul.

Getrude Rose Gamwera the ULGA secretary general says the association through the ministry of local government has for long also pushed for the lower local council elections but is yet to receive confirmation from the Electoral Commission.

“The ministry of local government was pushed to make amendments and now everything is ironed out except that electoral commission says they will give us a date to hold elections.” Gertrude said.

Meanwhile the locals have also urged government to refocus attention onto local council leaders other than relying much on legislators for decisions of development.

OkwiTitus Ebukalin, the speaker Bukedea district says 75% of Ugandan population stays in rural communities where they are best understood by local leaders.

He says it would then be prudent for government to dwell much on lower local governments to directly channel service delivery to the people other than using a centralized system that relies on reports they (sometimes) may not sure about.

“Central government should work with those who represent, work and deal with the local population on the daily basis so that we can easily deliver, monitor and understand their wishes,” Ebukalin said.

George Mutabaazi the Lwengo LC5 chairperson whom ChimpReports caught up with during his courtesy visit to Mbale district (as he is vying for ULGA president), said sub county chiefs, LC3s, LC5 and other local leaders need direct audience and interaction with the central government as they are ones directly bogged by issues affecting local people.

He said there is need for ULGA to create platforms where the central government directly interacts with locals other than government relying on bureaucratic reports to run the country.

Uganda currently has over 60,000 nun functioning lower local councils (village administrative units) with which Mutabaazi believes if well utilized by government would greatly improve service delivery hence easing Uganda to a middle income country by the stipulated 2030


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