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Kalungu Leaders Protest Restrictions on Ownership of Gov't Bicycles

But a row ensued after Kalungu Resident District Commissioner Caleb Tukaikiriza informed the chairpersons that the bicycles will revert to the government when the current leader's leave the office, even at the end of their term of office.
Village and Parish Council Chairpersons gathering to receive government bicycles

Audio 4

Village and parish chairpersons in Kalungu district have protested the government’s policy to ownership of bicycles that were procured to facilitate their movement while executing their responsibilities.

The bicycles that were procured by the Ministry of Local Government are currently being distributed to the intended beneficiaries in the different parts of the country in fulfilment of a presidential pledge made ten years ago.

But a row ensued after Kalungu  Resident District Commissioner Caleb Tukaikiriza informed the chairpersons that the bicycles will revert to the government when the current leader's leave the office, even at the end of their term of office. The chairpersons scorned the government and described the condition as illogical and selfish.  

Moses Kawesa, Magret Nabikindu, and Paul Luberenga, the Chairpersons for Bwesa, Ndagi, and Nnunda villages in Lwabenge sub-county, argue that the central government has for so long neglected lower local council leaders, despite their role in the governance of the country, wondering why it shouldn't reward them with the bicycles.

The leaders demand that the government allows them to retain the bicycles after they leave office, as a token appreciation for their hard work amid tough working conditions.

/Cue in; “bwoba ovudde ku...

Cue out…lwaliva mu office.”//

Fred Yiga and Patrick Sseremba, Chairpersons of Kalokero and Byana villages in Kalungu sub-county also argue that they have invested a lot of energy and resources to effectively offer leadership in the areas, which qualifies them to get a direct reward from the government.

These added that they are not ready to leave behind the bicycles if they are not re-elected for the next term, arguing that some of them have been hiring offices using their own money which the government has never catered for. The current term of office for Village and Parish chairpersons ends in July following a roadmap for another round of elections issued early this month, by the Electoral Commission.

//Cue in; “ebbanga lyonna…  

Cue out...ketuvaayo nako.”// 

Kalungu District Chairperson Ahmed Nyombi Mukiibi, also shares the disappointment of the village and parish council chairpersons, arguing that the government ought to have done better than bicycles that have come with tight restrictions on ownership.

//Cue in; “government ekole ebyo… 

Cue out….esigala nkapa.”// 

But Tukaikiriza challenged the local leaders to first appreciate what the government has been able to deliver.  According to him, the government may reconsider its position to allow the leaders to retain the bicycles as personal assets as long as it finds funds to cater for the leaders in the next term of office.

//Cue in; “njagala kwebaza…  

Cue out….atuuka wala.”//   

In August 2020, the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party also procured 68,733 bicycles it distributed to their village chairpersons across the country but did not specify who will become the ultimate owners of the cycles.