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Former Gulu City Mayor fails to hand over


Labeja (left) at a religious function early this year. He has yet to officially leave office. FILE PHOTO URN

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Gulu City Mayor George Labeja is yet to hand over office to his successor, ten days after he was sworn in. The new Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga and councilors swore in on May 18th, 2021.

Okwonga immediately received the instruments of power, constitution, local government act, flag, national flag, logo and seal among others. The Local Government Act provides for the smooth handover of office to the coming leadership after upon the expiry of the term of office of the former executive committee.

However, the former Gulu City Mayor, George Labeja skipped the swearing-in of his successor. Alfred Okwonga, the new Gulu City Mayor, says that he is wondering why the Town Clerk has failed to take action against the former Mayor for failing to hand over the office, saying that he is finding it extremely hard to work since he doesn’t know where to start from. Okwonga has asked the City Town Clerk to write to the responsible authorities to intervene in case his office has failed to initiate the handover.

He revealed that he does not want the handover of the office to be chaotic. According to reports from Gulu City Council, the former Mayor George Labeja is still holding two vehicles belonging to the council. They include an Ambulance registration number UBH 243Z and a Toyota double cabin LG 002117, which are parked at his residence.

Samuel Oduny, the representative of older persons, says that they began work immediately after taking the oath of office. He, however, says that the former Mayor has not yet handed over office; something he describes as very appalling. He says the Gulu City Town Clerk has until close of business today to ensure that the handover takes place.

Edward Guwavu Kiwanuka, the Gulu City Town Clerk who could not explain why the handover of office has not taken place, says his office will ensure that the former Mayor hands over office this week.  The former Gulu Mayor, George Labeja couldn’t be reached for comment as his known mobile phone number was switched off.  Our reporter visited the Gulu City Council Administration block where the handover ceremony is expected to place running as usual.

Edward Kiwanuka Guwavu, the City Town Clerk says that his the office is handling the matter, adding that he will ensure the handover takes place by the close of business today. Early this month, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Government, Ben Kumumanya wrote to all Chief Administrative Officers and Town Clerks ordering them to arrange for swearing-in activities between May 13th and 28th this year to enable the  smooth transition of power from the outgoing and the new Local Government Councils.



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