Arua District Councilors Fight Over Executive Positions

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In short
District councilors elected on NRM ticket to Arua district council have become divided as most of them are struggling to be appointed in the executive posts. The Local Government Act permits the LC chairperson only to appoint four executives including the vice chairperson.

Even before the new LC5 councils have been sworn-in newly elected National Resistance Movement councilors in Arua District are already feuding over who should make it in the new district executive committee.

The rift is between members of the outgoing executive and new councilors, both of whom want to be included in the new district cabinet.

As a consequence, there is a widening split between the two groups, with each side launching scathing attacks on the other with the view of reducing appointment prospects.

Luiji Candini, a works secretary in the old executive, says personal interests in the executive is brewing bad among among NRM councilors.

He says much as the power to appoint the district executive rests with the LC 5 chairperson, some of his NRM colleagues have started moving around telling people that they want to replace him as if he has no capacity to hold the office any further.
Bonface Alioni, the councilor elect for Logiri sub-county, says the newly elected LC5 chairman, has the discretion to either appoint him or not. He says there is no need to lobby or bribe the LC 5 chairperson or his agents because that could lead to an ineffective executive.

Herbert Afidra, a councilor-elect for Arua Hill division, says new councilors are being scared by older colleagues who describe them as political novices who cannot be trusted with executive posts.

Afidra says that position is unfair because many of them are well educated and exposed.

According to the Loca Governments Act as amended, a district executive shall consist of four councilors that is the vice chairperson and secretaries for finance, technical services, and works and community services.

That poses a challenge in a big district like Arua with a total of 41 district councilors both from the opposition and the NRM.
On his part, the district chairman-elect, Sam Wadri Nyakua, says councilors should not struggle to be in his executive and instead work hard to serve their electorates.

Nyakua says he will follow the law to appoint his executive and in runing the district government.

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This is the first time since 1996 that councilors are openly lobbying to be in the district executive. In the past executive members were surprised with appointments.

Dan Opima, a former contender for the LC 5 seat is himself a former executive. He says struggling for executive posts will divide the councilors.

Opima says the councilors allow the LC 5 chairman-elect to make his own choices in order to bring harmony in the new council.



About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.