Fireworks in Parliament over Delayed LC1 Elections

Parliament has Thursday tasked Government to set a date for the Local Council one and two (LC 1 and LC 2) elections within a period of two weeks.

Earlier in the day while appearing before the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee, cheapest the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, erectile Eng. Badru Kiggundu informed the house that the elections won’t be conducted as earlier promised due to financial constraints.

Kuggundu noted that despite amending the law to provide for change of conducting LC 1 elections from the use of ballot papers for lining up behind a candidate of your choice, try government has failed to find money to conduct elections as of yet.

“Yes the law was amended and we participated in coming up with amendments but there are no finances to run those elections. If you can help us cause Government to find the money, that would serve us better,” Kiggundu informed committee members.

Another EC official noted that, “Before the law was amended, the money needed to hold LC 1 elections was in trillions when the law was amended, the amount was reduced to Sh128bn and further consultations brought it to Sh37bn.”

“Out of the Sh37bn the Ministry of Finance provided only Sh7bn and that’s what we have in the input.”

The same matter was also raised on the floor of the house by Mukono Municipality legislator, Betty Nambooze tasking government to explain the fate of the lower leadership at village level in the country and that of Workers’ Councilors.

“We have been having elections but these have not been concluded and at the moment, EC is holding residual elections but it shall be recorded that we amended the law and allowed councilors for Workers but no preparations or guidelines were given in that line,” Nambooze, who also serves as the Shadow Minister of Local Government noted.

She added that, “we have raised this matter for long but we shall not give up, we are being asked time and again when we shall have the LC 1 elections and what do we do for the expired leaders some of whom have shifted residence.”

Mukono Municipality MP, Nambooze on the floor

Mukono Municipality MP, Nambooze on the floor

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafire was quick to explain to the house that his ministry together with that of Local Government and Finance are holding consultations on the matter and will inform the house.

Otafire noted that despite Government being much interested in the said elections, it has so far failed to avail funds to conduct the elections.

“For every legislation that is brought and passed by Parliament it has got a certificate of financial implication, when the amendment was introduced, Parliament was convinced that government had enough money needed to conduct the elections,” noted Ibahim Semujju Nganda, the Kira Municipality MP.

The Leader of Opposition, Winnie Kizza observed that, “Court told those holding the LC 1 offices that they are illegal, right now we are dealing with legal structures which are held by illegal occupants and from time to time we apportion money to them.”

The Minister of State for Finance, David Bahati clarified that Parliament never appropriated money for the elections in the current financial year.

“When we bring motions and bills with certificates of financial implications, the certificate is explaining two things the magnitude of finances required to carry out the task and how it’s going to be financed,” Bahati said.

“For this financial year, we passed a budget here but we didn’t pass these resources required to finance the elections. We are now in discussion with the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs to find ways on how this can be addressed. We don’t have the money in the budget to hold the elections this year and we are trying to see if we can find it.”

Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who presided over the session ruled “Am giving the Minister of Justice two weeks to come back here and tell us when these elections are to be carried out, nothing less and nothing more.”

And on the fate of the illegal occupancy of the current office bearers at the LC 1 level, the Speaker ordered the Attorney General to come prepare a statement on their plight.

Header advertisement


Header advertisement
To Top