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May 19, 2024
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Angry LC1, LC2 Chairpersons Close Town Council Offices over Village Dev’t Fees

Angry local council one and two officials from Osukuru Town Council, Tororo district on Tuesday, 27th February, 2024 paralyzed business after locking the council offices over non-remittance of development fees dubbed 25% for villages and 5% for parishes.

Armed with placards, the officials stormed the council offices by 7.30am and ordered the attendants never to dare opening of the offices until the Town Clerk, Okoth Kitongo pays them off their outstanding arrears for over 3 years.

They held the Sub County Chairperson, Stanslus Ofwono Toto, hostage saying they were not ready to leave unless they received an assurance of their payment because they were tired of pleading with the town clerk.

The situation attracted the intervention of the Chief Administrative Officer, Gabriel Atama and the Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Albert Amula after receiving a call from the LC3 chairperson.

Louis Odoi Ticaf, village chairperson said they cannot continue to work on an empty stomach and yet some people are swindling their resources.

He said they are aware that Tororo cement Limited has paid the council including collections from the market and yet the technocrats claim that the council has no money.

Odoi who acted as the spokesperson of the disgruntled and demonstrating local leaders said they acted after the council authorities failed to respond to their demands.

He said on several occasions they had visited the council offices and interacted with the LC3 chairperson and the town clerk but the only answer they would get was being patient which they ran out of patience.

Raymond Ekwaro, the LCI chairperson of Asinge Cell, Osukuru Ward said non-remittance of the village entitlements has made it difficult for them to even meet some of the priority needs that they would wish to carry out as a village.

He said as before the money would facilitate villages to repair broken boreholes, maintain spring wells and working on community access roads that have not been taken over by the town council.

“Its common sense that you cannot rejoice with family resources when your family members are starving, therefore our main point is that the council makes remittances meant for villages and parishes, short of that we are not leaving here,” he said.

The LC3 Chairman acknowledged the move made by the local leaders revealing that as council they have always included the allocation for village and parish development in their budgets but when it comes to implementation, the technocrats omit them..

He said they started planning for the village and parish development funds since 2021 but unfortunately they have never been told where the money goes and they suspect it goes to individual pockets.Ofwono also asked the office of the Resident District Commissioner and office of the Chief Administrative Officer to call for a forensic audit to ascertain how the money is being used.

However, the Chief Administrative Officer thanked the leaders for rising up to demand for their village entitlements adding that failing to remit is an illegal act that his office is going to investigate.

The Chief Administrative Officer used his powers to order for the immediate remittance of the development funds to the respective villages and parishes since the money is there.

Atama said as a way to streamline administration at the town council, he has taken a decision that includes transfer of the town clerk because his office has been furnished with information that the working relationship between the town clerk and political leaders is not good.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Albert Amula appealed to the leaders to remain law abiding as they demand for their entitlements adding that any disobedience will land them into problems for conflicting with the law.

Source: East News

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