Kitgum LC3 Chairpersons Lose Touch with their Voters

LC3 chairpersons in Kitgum who are seeking re-election next year are accused of being out of touch with their voters.

Athanasius Okello, a resident of Akwang Sub-County, says his LC3 chairperson Peter Oola doesn't stay in Akwang and had no idea what the needs of ordinary people are. He says Oola has a home in Kitgum town and he only goes back to Akwang to look for votes.

Okello says he is tired of voting for leaders who abandon the countryside for modern amenities in town once they are elected.

Justine Oroma, another resident of Akwang, his year graduated from Makerere University. She has returned home to work among less-advantaged people in her hometown.

Oroma says she and her friends have formed a pressure group to demand for accountability from elected leaders. She says those who are out of touch with ordinary voters and are not working for their development will not receive support in next year's elections.

Akwang Sub-County is one of the poorest areas of Kitgum. A sanitation and hygiene report release d by the district in May found that it has only 16 percent latrine coverage. Most people do not have easy access to clean water sources and good schools and health centers are in short supply.

Peter Oola, the LC3 chairperson, says the accusations against him are unfounded. He says he has a home in Akwang and has done much good for the sub-county. He attributes the emptying of IDP camps, construction of water points and classrooms to his efforts.

Similar circumstances exist in Orom Sub-County. The LC3 chairperson there, Santino Oringa, is also accused of failing to address real problems because he does not know them. It alleged that he is rarely in office and people who want urgent issues addressed cannot reach him.

Christopher Lakidi, a merchant in Orom trading center, says the people of Kitgum need a change in leadership. He says that in the last four years politicians have done very little to bring change to the district.

Many Kitgum LC3 chairpersons that Uganda Radio Network spoke to refused to engage in a discussion regarding the accusations leveled against them. They were however optimistic about their fate in next year's elections.