LC1 chairpersons are the custodians of the official village stamp and all records about residents in the village, and any decisions taken by the LC Courts. They are also key witnesses to all transactions undertaken within their jurisdictions.
Two villages in Wakiso district are stuck with two chairpersons after the previous leaders declined to hand over offices to their elected successors. The two villages are Bulaga B and Ssumbwe, both found in Wakiso County.
Rashid Mwebesa, a resident of Ssumbwe says their former chairperson, Elisa Mutebi lost to Charles Kabanda in local council polls that were held on July 8, 2018. But Mutebi challenged the outcome of the elections and declined to hand over the instruments of power even though he was never gazetted by the Electoral Commission.
Mutebi currently runs a parallel village office, to which many of his supporters go for services. LC1 chairpersons are the custodians of the official village stamp and all records about residents in the village, and any decisions taken by the LC Courts. They are also key witnesses to all transactions undertaken within their jurisdictions.
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Sauda Namayanja, a resident of Ssumbwe says the presence of two chairpersons has created confusion among residents.
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Charles Kabanda, the gazetted LC I chairperson of Ssumbwe village says that court in June ruled in his favour and ordered Mutebi to vacate office. Court also declared all the documents signed by him after the elections null and void.
Although Mutebi closed the office as ordered by the court, our reporter has since established that he is still signing on land agreements, as the substantive local council chairman.
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Mutebi declined to comment on the matter.
A similar situation is seen in Bulaga B village where Vincent Bugembe runs a parallel LC1 office. Bugembe lost the post to Charles Ssentongo, who has since reported the matter to the District leadership, Police and the Resident District Commissioner.
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Wakiso Resident District Commissioner Rose Kirabira says her office is making efforts to visit the two villages and sensitize residents on the need to enforce the court order.
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A year ago, the government directed incumbents who lost local council one office to hand over their offices to persons declared winners by the Electoral Commission. In a letter dated July 12, 2018, the permanent secretary in the local government ministry, Ben Kumumanya, noted that offices should be handed over to parish chiefs under the supervision of the sub-county chiefs.