Cabinet Approves Extension of LCs Term of Office for Six Months

Cabinet has approved a proposal to extend the term of office of the Local Council one and two by six months. Their term of office expired on 10th July 2023 but the government said that they did not have the means to conduct elections.

The matter sparked public debate and on Thursday last week, the Attorney General told Parliament that the government would extend the term of office. The proposed extension was challenged in Parliament with opposition politicians accusing the government of sleeping on the job.

Addressing the press at the Uganda Media Center on Tuesday, the Minister for ICT Chris Baryomunsi said that the cabinet on Monday resolved to extend the term of office by 180 days.

He says that the proposal was tabled by the Attorney General.

Section 157 of the Local Governments Act gives the Minister of Local Government powers to draft regulations for the implementation of the Act. The Minister of Local Government also has powers to amend the schedules to the Act.

The amendments include, that with prior approval of the cabinet, the minister can extend, renew, reinstate, or validate the term of office of the administrative unit councils from five years for a further period not exceeding 180 days at a time. Notwithstanding, the term may have expired.

The law requires the Minister, after the cabinet approval, to lay before parliament a statutory instrument. The parliament may amend or revoke the statutory instrument; and “if no amendment or revocation is effected within two weeks of its being laid before Parliament, it shall be deemed to have been approved.” Reads the law in part.

When the tenure of the LCs expired earlier this month, the main concern among members of the public was the validity of the documents that were endorsed by the officials occupying those offices. The opposition and specifically the Leader of Opposition in Parliament cautioned that documents endorsed by LCs whose terms expired may be challenged before the court.

Baryomunsi says that the extension shall work retrospectively to validate any actions taken during the time of expiry of the LCs term.

The LC I and LC II leaders were elected in 2018 across 10,595 parishes and 70,626 villages, marking nearly 17 years since the last elections were held under the ruling National Resistance Army/ NRA/NRM government.

Electoral Commission needs 59 billion Shillings to conduct the elections.

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