GULU

Gulu: Angry councillors arrested as LC5 chairman faces impeachment

(Last Updated On: 27 April 2023)

Gulu, April 27, 2023: A group of angry councillors of Gulu district council was Tuesday detained at Gulu CPS for more than 1 hour for allegedly holding an illegal demonstration aimed at removing their chairman LC5 from office.

The councillors accuse the district chairman of misconduct, incompetence, and abuse of office, among other allegations.

Their 2nd petition was moved to the speaker’s office in what they described as a “delayed response from the Minister of Local Government” following their first petition presented before the Council on March 17, 2023.

On April 25, 2023, over nine district councillors presented their second petition to the speaker, beseeching her to table it before the minister of Local Government for response and action.

Mwaka Samuel Barker is a councillor for the people of Patiko. He was the one who presented the first petition before the council last week. “The level of incompetence, abuse of office and misconduct of chairman is becoming too viral which is affecting service delivery in Gulu district,” he alleged.

Mwaka noted that they want an immediate response from the Ministry of Local Government within “only 5 days”. If they fail again to get a response, he said they will have got a legal mandate to petition the President on the same.

Lapude Francis, another LC5 councillor for Owor sub-country revealed that as a council, they will not see their district dying as the chairman try to bring disunity among the leaders.

“If you compare the current leadership to the last leadership, it is different, also different compared to other districts and Gulu City.”

Bosco Oryem represents the people of Paibona sub-county to the district council. He said over 19 councillors are opposing the motion of removing the chairman from office. He added that only 9 members of the council are showing up, adding that they are in the same move to save Gulu district.

Another councillor, Lakwo-nyero Denis Ocean, representing people with disabilities said the misconduct of the chairman is chasing away an NGO that was supporting Gulu local government. “During the time of Mao, the late Ochora and Mapenduzi, it was different. We want to bring back the previous leadership.”

On the other hand, Phoebe Ayoo Obol, the speaker of Gulu district council has responded to the petitions presented to her office. “It has been handed to my office and Gulu district is above us to handle the matter, we are waiting for guidance from the Ministry of Local Government to handle it accordingly.”

According to the Local Government Act sections 14 and 4, it is right for the majority or a third of councillors to move a motion of removing their chairman from the office if he or she is not performing…. The speaker also confirmed that the first petition was presented on March 17, 2023, but there has been no response from the line ministry.

Meanwhile, Christopher Opiyo Ateke, the accused, via a phone interview with TND News commented: “Let those councillors go ahead with their petition, I will wait and see what will end the matter.”

The current quest to remove a district chairman from office is the first of its kind happening in Acholi sub-region in decades.

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