By Francis Lubega
12th May 2021
The Solicitor General has advised the Ministry of Local Government to adjust the dates for the swearing-in of newly elected local government leaders.
According to the letter dated May 11th 2021 by Paul Okirig on behalf of Solicitor General Francis Atoke, if the swearing-in takes place more than seven days effective today it will be in contravention of section 169 of the Local Governments Act.
According to the Local Government Act, an incoming executive committee shall, before taking office, ensure that there is a formal handing over from the outgoing executive committee within one week from the date of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing executive committee.”
Last week, the Permanent Secretary of Local Government Ministry Ben Kumumanya wrote ordering all Chief Administrative Officers and Town Clerks to arrange for swearing-in activities between 13th and 28th May 2021 to enable a smooth transition between the outgoing and the new Local Government council. He argued that the term of office of the current local council leaders across the country expires today May 12th 2021, which may delay swearing-in by even more than two weeks in some districts.
But Busia District Chairperson Elect Stephen Wasike Mugeni petitioned the office of the Solicitor General on May 5th 2021 asking for the legal opinion and interpretation of the law about handing over of office and coming in of new local government leaders.
According to Wasike’s letter, the taking over of office and formal handing over of office from the outgoing executive committee to the incoming executive committee particularly for Busia was fixed for May 25th 2021 which is more than a week after the expiry of the term of the previous executive committee which contravened Section 169 of the Local Governments Act.