The anticipated local council elections have been indefinitely postponed, announced Minister of Local Government Rafael Magyezi. The delay comes as the ministry works to update the lists of all administrative units in the country. These updates aim to clarify the numbers, names, and boundaries of administrative units, essential for a smooth and fair election process.
Speaking at a press release held at the Uganda Media Center on January 3rd, 2024, Minister Magyezi emphasized that it is within the power of the ministry to perform these updates. The decision to postpone the elections was officially gazetted under general notice No. 2189 of 2023, which was widely publicized in the New Vision newspaper on January 2nd, 2024, on page 8. Furthermore, the extension had received prior approval from the cabinet on December 18th, 2023.
Additionally, the term of office for administrative unit councils has been extended by up to 180 days, starting from January 6th, 2024. This extension addresses the current shortage of funds and the logistical challenges hindering the election process.
“The current circumstances simply do not allow us to conduct elections for the administrative units without adequate resources,” explained Minister Magyezi during the press release.
The importance of local councilors in bridging the communication gap between communities and the government was acknowledged by the minister. These councilors play a vital role in implementing various government programs, including the Parish Development Model, Emyooga, and other initiatives aimed at promoting wealth creation.
“The local councils are crucial for the implementation of developmental programs that benefit our communities. Therefore, the country cannot afford to have a leadership vacuum at this level at any moment.” said the minister.
This is not the first time the local council elections have faced postponement. The most recent postponement occurred last year when the elections, which were supposed to take place between July and August 2023, were delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. The election process during these uncertain times included an uncommon mode of lining up behind candidates or their agents or even portraits.