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Local gov’t ministry rescinds censure of Lwengo service commission

Local Gov’t Minister Raphael Magyezi. File Photo

Lwengo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Local Government has overturned the removal of Lwengo District Service Commission citing procedural flaws.

In August, the district council, acting on the recommendation of the Executive Committee passed a vote of no confidence against the commission accusing members of corruption and gross misconduct.

The motion was presented to the council by the LCV chairperson, Ibrahim Kitatta, indicating that his office had registered several complaints about the solicitation of bribes from job applicants, facilitating recruitment of unqualified staff, and nepotism.

The decision had since plunged the district into stalemate arising from a bitter misunderstanding pitting a section of councilors who opposed the motion, the technocrats who were recruited by the commissioners, and the district executive committee.

But during a harmonization meeting chaired by the Minister of Defense Vincent Ssempijja at Lwengo district headquarters, the Assistant Commissioner for Local Councils in the Ministry of Local Government, Ketty Gatta overruled the council on the motion, indicating that the motion was rushed hence violating the legal procedures under which the commission can be removed.

She observed that the council overstepped its mandate when it removed the entire commission, yet the available law grants it permission to remove a member as an individual after they are also granted a fair hearing.

Gatta explains that besides being illegal, the controversial censure motion had created unnecessary tension in the district hence affecting service delivery and that local government may suffer high litigation costs should the commissioners seek court redress.

Besides the Service Commission, Gitta also asked Peregrino Ssenozi, the District Speaker to withdraw the suspension of six councilors for three consecutive sittings over alleged misconduct after they jeered at him when the council passed the controversial censure motion.

She has cautioned the local government leadership against the unending political infightings, warning that they will jeopardize the rationale of decentralization, which may prompt the central government to rethink its implementation.

Vincent Birimuye, the LCV vice chairperson told Gatta that part of the misunderstandings in the district are fueled by area Members of Parliament with interests to undermine the local government leadership.

According to him, the controversial motion for removal of the Service Commission was highly politicized even though the district had glaring evidence about their inadequacies.

The Minister of Defense Vincent Ssempijja said that he will continue mediating the misunderstandings affecting the leaders in the Lwengo district.

He observed that the disputes between the leadership both in the political and technical wings are largely due to egos between individuals, saying that he intends to engage the warring parties to them resolved for the good of the district.



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