By Juma Nsubuga
Parliament has abolished all county councils across the country following a proposal tabled by government under the Local Governments (Amendment) bill 2012.
According to the Minister for Local Governments Hon. Adolf Mwesige, the councils had become malfunctional since their duties are being performed by the district and sub county local governments.
He told Parliament that the current county councils are poorly facilitated following the significant decline in locally generated revenue at the sub counties.
A report on the Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2012 presented by the Parliament Committee on Public Service and Local Governments notes that 111 out of the 169 counties across the country have over the years been named districts.
Parliament is currently considering the creation of another 25 new districts and this leaves only 33 counties that have not been merged into districts.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission may soon hold country wide elections for Local Council 1 chairpersons with several cost cutting measures approved by Parliament as it considered the Local Government (Amendment) bill 2012.
According to the bill considered by Parliament February 26, one of the cost cutting measures is the dispatch of only electronic copies of the voters register to the 38 registered political parties as opposed to paper copies in case of village local council elections.
The arrangement according to Minister Adolf Mwesige will save government Ushs.252 million which would be spent on printing and postage. The Minister also sought the approval of Parliament to ban the use of photographic voters’ registers at village elections saying the use of text registers will cut the cost of holding these elections by Ushs.400 million.
The Leader of the Opposition Hon. Nandala Mafabi however opposed the move warning that this will create chaotic scenes in the villages. He noted that similar names on the voters register in a given village may result into election violence.
The Electoral Commission requires about Ushs.120 billion to hold country wide elections at village level.