On Jan 10, the Sectoral Committee on Public Service and Local Government released its report on the Local Government Amendment Bill 2016 recommending election of chairpersons at village and parish level by lining up behind a candidate of one’s choice.
This mode though preferred as cheaper than using the ballot was highly opposed when it was first proposed with critics saying it would not only intimidate voters and keep them away from the exercise but will also stem conflict among the people. Elections at village and parish level were last held in 2001 before Uganda moved into multiparty politics and the leaders have since been acting illegally. It’s on this note that the report recommends these elections to always be part and parcel of the election calendar as more future delays would lead to lawlessness, insecurity, poor governance and lack of accountability.
The bill which is due for second reading was first read on Dec.21 by the Minister of Local Government before being referred to the committee for further scrutiny. Though election date has been set for Jan 17, its unlikely that they will be held at that date as the Electoral Commission has expressed reservations over how the government is rushing the exercise.