Underestimating the Significance of LC I Chairpersons at Village Level

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As Ugandans, we have undervalued the function of Local Council I (LC I) Chairpersons in our villages for many years. This explains why majority of us, notably the elites, do not participate in local council elections, presuming that candidates for the LC I chairperson seat don’t concern us, and so we do not wish to waste our time voting.

One of my friends recently moved to a new house, and his new landlord insisted that he obtains an LC I letter from the location he was leaving. Suddenly, my attention was drawn to the LC I leaders. Despite being at the lowest level of Administrative structures of Local Government leadership, LC I Chairpersons play crucial roles that, if not understood, prioritized, and valued, can cost the community and government, and as a result, cause losses for both individuals and the government.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics reports, Uganda has over 71,217 villages and households ranging between 50 and 70. The LC1 Chairpersons are assumed with various roles like signing off on individuals’ documents obtaining who are bank loans from commercial banks, purchasing land, and traveling abroad, which roles should not be underestimated.

The LC I Chairpersons carryout other roles like commanding their villages where their opinions are highly respected by the populace. They ensure Peace and security in villages, and sanitation is also counted on Chairpersons with the nine Executives leading in those villages. Therefore, if a poor leader is elected, the entire community will suffer and pay the price.

When it comes to the electoral process, elections for LC I Chairpersons are conducted in a multiparty system, and results of the election demonstrate the scope and depth of the parties at the grassroots level. This implies that the Chairpersons’ elections are a better barometer than parliamentary elections because each village serves as a polling location.

Voting
A voter casting his vote at a polling station

Despite the fact that this is beneficial for the parties, it is imperative that elected leaders recognize and note that, the LC I office serves all Ugandans, regardless of which party they support. Consequently, voter registration, voter education and timely holding of their elections are essential.

The world should keep in mind that LC I leaders have the powers and the trust of the communities, which means that they must be sensitized enough to not abuse those powers; otherwise, they can sell off communities and institutions can be robbed due to their powers.

Failure to handle their process well and timely poses litigation Risks associated with the legality of documents they sign when their term of office ends and Local Council I’s are incapable of bearing litigation costs.

Dear, Ugandans let us embrace and normalize voting for the LC I Chairpersons for better leadership, peace, safety and timely services at the grass root level.

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