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Mbale district executive finally approved amidst protests from councilors

Mbale district council in session. URN photo

Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mbale district council has finally approved members of the District Executive Committee-DEC amidst protests from some councilors. A section of councilors from Bungokho County South stormed out of the council chambers protesting some of the names submitted by Mbale district LC V chairperson, Muhammad Mafabi for approval.

The proposed names included Tonny Wamagale, for the position of Vice Chairperson, Finance and Administration secretary, James Masaba, Education and Health secretary, and Beth Katami, the Gender and Community-Based Affairs secretary. This was the second time the council was sitting to approve the district executive after the botched session last month where some councilors accused the chairperson of failing to balance his executive.

It took the intervention of Mbale Resident District Commissioner, Asumin Nasike to convince the councilors to convene and approve the executive committee. However, during the meeting, some councilors said that the RDC had convinced them to show up for the approval of the supplementary budget of Shillings 349 million, and now district executive committee.

They accused the LC V chairperson Muhammad Mafabi for nominating people to his executive from only Bungokho North and Bungokho Central yet the district comprises three constituencies. They also accused him of appointing Tonny Wamagale as LC V vice-chairperson in violation of the laws, since he is a serving civil servant. They alleged that Wamagale is a teacher at Gweri Secondary School and still draws a salary from the consolidated fund.

Charity Martha Lutoto, the female youth district councilor accused the chairperson of biased appointments for alleged failure to appoint someone to his executive from Bungokho South constituency, which prompted her to shun the meeting.

Philimon Washipuhu, the representative of the elderly said the confusion exhibited in the council is the same reason previous meetings were aborted. He faulted the speaker and LC V chairperson for failure to address the issues raised by councilors.

Deborah Nansubuga and Francis Mutenyo, the representatives of Bumasikye and Bunambutye and Lukhonjye sub-counties respectively said the decision by the chairperson to ignore Bungokho South is a clear sign of his hatred for the people of the constituency. They wondered how services will reach their people who are not represented on the executive where council business starts from.

Tonny Wamagale dismissed claims that he is still a civil servant, saying that anyone peddling the claims should have petitioned court within 14 days after he was gazetted as councilor.

Muhammad Mafabi, the Mbale LC V chairperson said the delayed approval of the executive committee had stalled a number of activities including the approval of the supplementary budget for COVID-19 activities. He asked the councilors to stop politicking on everything but instead work for their electorate.

The RDC Asumin Nasike said despite received Shillings 349M for COVID-19 activities, they had failed to access it due to the absence of the district executive committee.

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