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Gulu City Residents Petition UMEME over Inconsistent Power Supply

Through their lead petitioner, Benson Ongom, the residents fault UMEME for regular power blackouts in the last two weeks without clear explanation to the public and regardless of weather conditions.
A copy of the petition. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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Residents of Gulu City have petitioned the electricity distributor UMEME over the inconsistent and inadequate power supply.

The petition signed by more than 400 people was on Tuesday handed over to the Resident City Commissioner Nsubuga Bwayo and Doreen Ogenga the UMEME Manager for Gulu Region Area.  

Other copies were handed over to the Aswa River Regional Police Commander, District Police Commander and Forth Division Army Barracks Commander.   

Through their lead petitioner, Benson Ongom, the residents fault UMEME for regular power blackouts in the last two weeks without clear explanation to the public and regardless of weather conditions.   

They have also issued an ultimatum of two weeks effective Tuesday this week demanding that UMEME restores a constant and adequate power supply in the city or they go to the streets to demonstrate against them.   

Ongom says that the inconsistent power supplies in Gulu City has affected the smooth running of businesses, posed insecurity and caused the destruction of merchandise in industries since 2013 to date.   

The petitioners added that situation has also affected schools, critical installations and driven away key industrial projects.

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Cue out: …have stable power.’’// 

Ongom says that the petitioners had earlier planned for a peaceful demonstration to show their anger but they were stopped by the security following negotiations on Tuesday morning.   

He disclosed that they have now agreed that UMEME restores a constant and adequate power supply in Gulu City within only two weeks effective on Tuesday lest the petitioners will stage a peaceful demonstration. 

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Ogenga attributed the power outages to routine maintenance and promised that the constant power supply in Gulu City will be restored within two weeks.

She however disclosed that due to fear, UMEME asked for heavy security deployment at its main office and other installations for fear of attack by some rowdy residents following information circulating that a demonstration was being organized.   

Gulu Resident City Commissioner, Nsubuga Bweya said that as the security they are in talks with both the petitioners and UMEME to ensure that constant power supply is restored since it has become insecure.   

On Saturday vendors in Gulu City also petitioned President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni seeking his intervention over the inconsistent power supply in the city citing that it is affecting their businesses.   

General Salim Saleh, the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has also faulted UMEME for frustrating businesses and industrialization in Gulu City and Northern Uganda due to inconsistent power supply.   

Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Principal Administrator, Dr David Tibamanya says that the intermittent power supply is affecting the operation of the oxygen plant which is vital for patients in intensive care.  

Jolly Laker, the former Candidate for Gulu City Woman Member of Parliament and also a businesswoman noted that UMEME is frustrating their efforts and expressed willingness in joining a demonstration against them.   

Recently Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Chief Executive Officer for Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) attributed inconsistent and inadequate power supply in Northern Uganda to having only a one-way grid supply from Tororo which runs on only 33 KV and also old colonial lines. 

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Cue out: …area is affected.’’//

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