Kampala. Local Council leaders have appealed to government to consider paying them a salary every month.
The leaders made the appeal to the special presidential adviser in charge of Resident District Commissioners, Hajj Muhammad Mayanja, who was on Thursday touring “development projects” in Kawempe Division, Kampala.
Mr Muhammad Lule Kagubala, who has been the LC1 chairman Mbogo village for the past 20-years, said they do a lot of work yet they are not compensated by government. “We only get some money when we write letter for residents, which is only Shs2,000,” he said.
Mr Swaib Serugooti Kajjankwemba, the LC 1 chairperson of Kilokole zone, Kawempe Division, said it is unfair for government not to reward people like them, who he said have demonstrated that they can work.
“We have families to provide for but we are not paid and the little we have is used to help people, especially children that seek our help,” he said.
He added: “People seek for our help at odd hours. In case we have to report a case to police, we have to cater for our transport.”
Hajj Mayanja did not respond to their appeal. However, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo in an interview poured cold water on the proposal, saying LC1 leaders are not recognised.
“No LC1 chairperson is supposed to enforce the law, they are not recognised in the Constitution. Government has not yet amended the law,” he said.
Fate of LC1 offices
The Electoral Commission (EC) last held LC1 and LC2 elections in 2001. These village leaders’ terms of office expired on May 12, 2006. Parliament recently passed the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2014 providing for lining up behind candidates during elections of chairpersons for village (LC1) and parish (LC2) levels. The voting method is a departure from what is provided for in the Local Government Act of universal adult suffrage through secret ballot. The move was to lower the cost of conducting these elections. Shs505 billion was needed to conduct the exercise across the country. The EC is yet to set the date for the polls.