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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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
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
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.
Emmy Daniel Ojara is a young journalist and has been practicing since 2013, during which he covered land rights violation in the contested Apaa and Lakang in Amuru as his first take ups while at Gulu Fm, Favor Fm and later Paidha Fm and Speak Fm where he is still attached.
Human rights abuses and denied access to land by security and government agencies has been the major aftermath of the contest over the lands. The underprivileged such as women, children and the elderly faced challenges in accessing soc