By Christopher Nyeko
OMORO: The Minister for Local Government, Raphael Magezi, has ordered the Department of Council in the Ministry of Local Government to orient all the district councillors of Omoro district local government next month.
The minister’s directive came after he was informed by councilors that they lacked basic knowledge on council proceedings as well as council rules of procedure.
The revelation came during the meeting held over the weekend at the Hotel Pearl Afrique in Gulu to resolve the grievances between the Omoro district leadership and the technical staff.
The Lakwaya sub-county councilor, Isaac Odong, informed the minister that councilors have never been inducted since 2021, when they were sworn in, thereby making it difficult for many councilors to know their roles.
Rose Nyapolo, the female councilor representing Koro subcounty in Tochi County, revealed that a number of councilors are new to the council and are not acquainted with relevant council rules and procedures.
‘’If they are not inducted, councilors will always be doing the contrary,’’ she said.
Recently, Omoro District councilors were filmed attending council meetings with bottles of beer in hand, something that is against council rules of procedure.
The Omoro district speaker, Richard Bongowat Luganya, said some councilors are more focused on emolument than executing their statutory obligations.
According to local government acts, the councilor’s primary responsibilities include laying, scrutinizing, and passing the district budget, formulating district ordinances, representing the concerns of their constituents, and monitoring government projects in their respective areas.
The Omoro District LCV Chairperson, Mr. Okello Douglas Peter Okao, revealed that he has written letters to development partners lobbying for funds to facilitate the orientation of the district councilors, but in vain.
‘’Many of the partners cited lack of financing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has disorganized everything,’’ he said.
In 2021, the Ministry of Local Government tabled in Parliament a request for 15 billion shillings to induct all the local government leaders countrywide, but the fund was not released due to a lack of funding attributed to the corona outbreak in the country.
Minister Magezi anticipated that if councilors were inducted, the quality of their deliberations in the council would improve.
He however appraised the Omoro District Council on the standard of deliberation they exhibit during a joint full council meeting held on April 7, 2022, to eulogize the late Jacob Oulanyah, the former speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, describing it as being parliament standard.
Do you have a story about your community or an opinion to share with us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.