Why government has failed to conduct polls in Kibaale sub-counties

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KIBAALE/ KAKUMIRO. Newly created sub-counties in greater Kibaale are operating without political leadership as government fails to conduct elections nearly one year after their operationalisation.
Six sub-counties became operational when Kibaale District was split to form two districts of Kagadi and Kakumiro on July 1, 2016. The sub-counties are Kikwaya, Katikara, Kijangi and Kitaihuka in the newly created Kakumiro District. Others are Kabasekende and Kasimbi in Kibaale District. urrently, the new sub-counties are inactive and grappling with the questions of delivering services because they lack political leadership such as LC IV chairperson, sub-county council, and councillors among others who constitute the political administration of a lower local government.

Kibaale District chairman, Peter Amara, while addressing residents in Kasimbi Sub-county recently, said government’s failure to organise elections for leaders in the new sub-counties has created leadership and service delivery gap.
‘‘We have some gaps because these new sub-counties which were created have not got leadership as in terms of political and this is a great challenge’’ Mr Amara said.
According to Section 180, Sub section (2), the Local government Act 2016, as amended, Cap 243 under Composition of interim councils for newly created local government: Until elections of council members are held under Part X of this Act, the composition of a council of a newly created local government shall be in the case of lower local governments, all members of the original local government council representing the parishes and other electoral areas within the new lower local government. However, this has not been the case for the new sub-counties.

Mr Amara said the chairpersons of older sub-counties are still manning the new ones after failing to have interim chairpersons and sub-county councils, something which has created more conflicts. ‘‘We are requesting the electoral commission and the ministry of Local Government to conduct elections to avoid these conflicts,’’ he said.
Mr Lawrence Bazaara, the district councillor for Kakindo Sub-county, which was split to form Kikwaya and Kijangi sub-counties, said the two local government units are operating on separate budgets passed by the original sub-county.
“The overseeing of the implementation of the budget in the new sub-counties is a problem because there is no sub-county council which carries out oversight and key decisions on income and expenditure,” he said.

‘‘There is no way a sub-county can operate without the council, the LCIII chairperson and councillors. There is confusion among the people because they don’t know where to go’’ Mr Bazaara said.
Mr Gerald Mutesitesi, a resident of newly created Kijangi Sub-county, told Daily Monitor that government’s failure to conduct elections in the new sub-county for such a lengthy period is an indication of poor service delivery.
‘‘This impasse must end because a sub-county must be autonomous from another. We don’t want to be counted under our old sub-counties,’’ Mr Mutesitesi said.

Preparations
When contacted, Mr Erick Gimei, the Kibaale District returning officer, said the programme of having elections in the newly created sub-counties is on and preparations have started to ascertain the electoral areas.
‘‘The programme is about to start and we are now ascertaining their creation to get electoral areas. The sub counties were created by splitting parishes and villages and this created hardships in getting interim leaders’’ Mr Gimei explained.
He, however, expressed fear that the whole exercise will consume more time.

Mr Erikwaine Ngobi, the Returning Officer of Kakumiro, when contacted said he doesn’t know of any plans of having elections in the new sub-counties in the near future.
He only admitted to having got instructions of sending some particulars of the sub-counties to the Electoral Commission head quarters.
When contacted on Wednesday, the EC spokesperson, Mr Jotham Taremwa said, “Am not sure of the elections program of other posts but next month representatives of PWDs will be elected in the same areas, so I will check whether elections will also cover all the posts.”

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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