A reconciliation meeting organised by the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda to address the unending political wrangles in Fort Portal Municipality, hangs in balance after the municipal councilors questioned the selection of people invited for the meeting.
A reconciliation meeting to address the unending political wrangles in Fort Portal Municipality hangs in balance after the municipal councilors questioned the selection of people invited for the meeting.
Last week, the inter-religious council of Uganda led by the Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese, Reuben Kisembo and Professor Edward Rugumayo, the chairperson of the Tooro Elders Forum, organized a meeting to mediate in the conflicts between the Mayor, Asaba Ruyonga and a section of municipal councilors. The meeting is supposed to take place over the weekend.
Top on the agenda of the meeting, is to find out the root cause of the conflicts, create an opportunity for both parties to dialogue and find a lasting solution to the conflict.
Some of the people the inter-religious council invited to attend the meeting include security officials, area MPs, district chairperson, district and municipal councilors, NRM district chairperson and his executive and selected members of the business community.
But the councilors have threatened to boycott the meeting because of some of the people invited.
Gilbert Kayondo, one of the councilors says that they are not comfortable with the district security officials attending the meeting.
Kayondo also claims that the security officials have in the past been used by the Mayor and other leaders in the district to intimidate the councilors, so their presence at the meeting is suspicious.
Prosper Businge, another councilor, says that although they welcome the meeting, he questions the invitation of Godfrey Nyakahuma, the NRM party chairman.
Businge says that members of other political parties in the district should also be invited. He says that not all the councilors are from the NRM party, noting that there are those who stood on independent ticket and one councilor from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.
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In a telephone interview, Bishop Kisembo said the meeting will go ahead because the inter-religious council has been organizing it for the past three months.
The bishop, however, says the concerns of the councilors will be looked into and if found to be genuine, they will be addressed.
The bickering between the councilors and Asaba started immediately after last year’s elections, where the mayor’s preferred candidates were defeated by youths. Asaba vowed never to work with the new leaders.
The bickering spread to the municipal council, with councilors blocking Asaba and his deputy, Margaret Kihika from increasing their emoluments. Asaba and Kihika then sued the municipal council.
For the past three months, Asaba has shunned municipal council meetings and instead delegates his deputy.
fort portal muncipal council