10 Councillors were sacked from council on the order of the Local Government Minister. They are seeking for legal interpretation.
Gulu’s bid to elevate the municipality into a city has stalled.
Discussion of the proposal to extend the municipal boundaries was aborted on Thursday, after the district council was ordered to cease any meeting.
Adolf Mwesigye, the Local Government Minister, directed an immediate suspension of all council business to pave way for the sacking of the councilors who shifted allegiance from the parties that took them to council.
In a letter to CAO, The minister said that the continued participation of the councilors in government business was a violation of Amendment of the third schedule to the principal Act section 23 clause 3b, which requires the councilor thrown out of the house.
The regulation state that if that person leaves the political party which he or she stood as a candidate for election to the council to join another party or to remain in the council as an independent member, he or she ceases to be a councilor immediately.
The Minister’s directive affected Oola Patrick Lumumba, the district deputy speaker who was due to chair the debate of the City bid. This effectively crippled the plan.
The directive barred Lumumba from sharing any further council business.
But Oola Patrick Lumumba, is challenging the Minister’s directive saying in his case, the directive doesn’t bar him from chairing council sessions because he changed his entire constituency like Erias Lukwago, who retained his seat in Parliament after more than 70 MPs were thrown out after the constitutional Court ruling.
Lukwago who went to parliament on DP ticket, contested in the Kampala Mayoral race as an Independent after losing in his party primaries.
Gulu’s Deputy Speaker, Oola Patrick Lumumba, was elected to Council as an Independent Youth Representative, but later shifted allegiance to FDC and contested for Gulu district Mayoral race which he lost to NRM’s George Labeja.
He says the district lawyer should come clear to interpret the Minister’s directive. The council resorted to extending the municipal boundaries after it failed to raise the required 500,000 people.
The 2002 Population and Housing Census put Gulu Municipality population at only 150,000 people, which is way too little to be granted a city status.
Lumumba says the district had resolved to use an alternative of extending the boundaries to include neighboring suburbs with fairly large populations in order to achieve the 500,000 people mark.
It had sought to include areas like Ongako, Koro, Unyama and Labora. Oola says the move would also make the new city accommodate future developments.
//Cue In “We had planned to resolve..…………..…//
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With Oola’s fate still undecided, the deliberation now awaits the return of district Speaker, Ojara Martin Mapenduzi who is on holidays in the UK in two weeks.
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