Government fails to specify date for LC I and II elections

Government has remained tight-lipped on when lower council elections will be held.

More than 15 years since the last Local Council One and Two elections were held, government says the elections will be held again in January 2017 but with no specific date.

The matter was brought up after Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, General Kahinda Otafiire failed to show up during Parliament’s plenary session this afternoon, to give a status report on the elections.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga tasked government to explain why it has been silent on updates on the polls, stating that lower councils need leadership urgently.

First Deputy Prime Minister, General Moses Ali, told the House that Otafiire was not available but would present a statement on Wednesday.

Key among the issues debated are amendments to the Local Government Act, to change the methodology of lining up to vote, display of voters’ registers and voter verification exercise, among others.
MPs Raphael Magyezi and Wilfred Niwagaba say the minister should table the amendments before the House goes on recess later this month.

Shadow Minister of Local Government, Roland Mugume says the minister should state the actual date when the elections will be held to enable voters prepare as well.
The Electoral Commission has budgeted for at least 37.5 billion shillings to conduct the LC 1 and LC 2 elections, as well as the women committees and council elections. About 27.6 billion shillings will be for the LC elections while 9.8 billion shillings is for the women council elections.

State Minister for Local Government, Jennifer Namuyangu assured the MPs that the funds have now been secured and elections will be held in January as earlier planned.

Otafiire is expected to present a statement on the matter tomorrow.