Mbale Municipal Council Fails to Elect Speaker


In short
The Chief magistrate, Simon Zirintusa Kintu asked the councilors to repeat the elections for the 2nd and 3rd time, but the contestants garnered the same votes. As a result, the Chief magistrate postponed the polls to another date

Mbale Municipal councilors have failed to elect their speaker. The Local Government Act requires councilors to elect their speaker immediately after taking oath. There after the speaker convenes the first council sitting and supervises the election of the deputy.

The 32 councilors of Mbale municipality led by the mayor, Mutwalib Zandiya Mafabi took oaths of allegiance and secrecy today under the supervision of Simon Zirintusa Kintu, the Mbale Chief Magistrate. They embarked on the process to elect their speaker.

Two candidates including Yasin Kawanguzi, the representative of Namuyonga ward and the North central ward councilor, Michael Masaba Nandala were nominated for the position. In a five-minute campaign, Masaba said he is motivated to contest so has to build cohesion between the councilors and the technocrats.
He said the previous council failed to deliver because of the bad working relationship between councilors and technocrats. Kawanguzi said if elected his leadership will focus on fighting corruption in the council, which he said was eating up the system. However, the candidates garnered 16 votes each, in a contest supervised by the Chief Magistrate and Town Clerk, Edward Lwanga.

The Chief magistrate, Simon Zirintusa Kintu asked the councilors to repeat the elections for the 2nd and 3rd time, but the contestants garnered the same votes.  As a result, the Chief magistrate postponed the polls to another date.

//Cue in: ''Now considering that…
Cue out: …thank you very much.''//

The failure by the councilors to elect the speaker has raised concern amongst voters. Hakim Watenyeri,a resident of the municipality says this will delay the opening of the new council. He says the councilors should have consulted and decided on one of candidates while the other serves as deputy speaker.

He challenges them to act maturely and agree so as the council is constituted. Abbey Makwasi, the outgoing speaker Mbale Municipality also wants the councilors to compromise on the two candidates to allow council start work immediately.

According to Makwasi, there was pending business in the council, which needs to be cleared. Jack Wamai Wamanga, the Mbale Municipality Member of Parliament who attended the swearing in of the councilors, says he will talk to convince one of the candidates to steps down for the other. But all the candidates told URN that none of them is willing to step down


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.