78% of the district chairpersons lost elections
Local Council V chairpersons who lost in the recently concluded national elections have been asked to immediately hand government cars and any other property under their possession immediately their term of expires to the incoming leaders.
The LCV chairpersons have been told to comply to this directive and save themselves embarrassments of being forced to hand over the properties because when they ceased to be leaders they ceased owning government property.
Addressing the media at the Uganda Local Government Association offices in Najjanankumbi, outgoing Jinja LCV Chairman Fred Ngobi Gume who is the president of the umbrella body of all district chairpersons and also the incoming Kagoma County Member of Parliament said he had been overwhelmed by calls from his colleagues who wanted to take the cars and make them their personal vehicles.
Ngobi also revealed that 78% of the district chairpersons lost elections. Ngobi was flanked by the Association Secretary Gertrude Rose Gamwera.
“I know some us believe that after serving, some of the possession we used during our term in office should remain with us. We put in a lot of requests and the Government gave us the vehicles almost 3 months to the end of our terms in office.
We at the policy level wanted the vehicles to be co-owned at 50-50% rate so that after the end of their terms in office they retained the vehicles but we were not successful because they were registered under Government,” Ngobi said.
Ngobi said he was aware that some of the LCV who lost were not seeing eye to eye with those who defeated them and urged those who found themselves in this situation to hand over the cars through the Chief Administrative Officers.
He also said that he did not expect the cars to be in a bad condition because they were handed over when they were new.
“The vehicles handed over must be intact. I don’t expect a leader to vandalize the car before handing over. They were given to us while new,” Ngobi said.
Reacting to reports that some Chairmen had decided to retain the old cars in their possession even after being given the new ones, Ngobi said this was wrong. “They should hand over one of the cars to a department or the office of the CAO,” Ngobi added.
He appealed to his colleagues who did not succeed to settle down and think about the next election. Ngobi gave an example of himself. “In 2006 I lost an election but I turned up at the swearing ceremony of the man who had defeated me and even congratulated him and handed over office. That was not the end of the world and in 2011, I stood and won the seat again,” he added.
Ngobi said one of the biggest challenges they faced while in office was insufficient funding from the Central Government which had paralysed their activities.
“The Chief Administrative Officers were taken away from us and they now report directly to the central Government. The money being sent to us from Government also declined,” Ngobi said.
He urged the Government to increase the amount it disbursed to the local Government to 38% because they handled most of the primary activities which ranged from education, healthcare among others.
Ngobi said he was grateful he had served ULGA and that the opportunity had also seen serve in other regional, continental and international Local Government bodies.
He said the Ugandan model of the Local Government had inspired most Government across the world that had even sent in their officials to study and later implement in their own countries.
Gamwera said the organisation depended on subscription fees from the local Government and donations from Government, donors and well-wishers.
She urged the incoming chairmen to ensure their subscription dues which amount to 6 million shillings were paid in time to enable them carry out their activities.