I have had the opportunity to peruse the Local Government Act Cap. 243 as amended and this is my opinion.
The newly created Jinja City is established under Sec. 3 (3) of the LGA Cap. 243 as a Local Government equivalent to a District Local Government.
Sec. 180 of the LGA Cap. 243 provides for INTERIM COUNCIL of newly created local governments. Sec 180 (1) provides that:
1(a) ……..the composition of a council of the newly created local government shall be:
In case of a district, all members of the original district council representing the subcounties and other electoral areas within the new district.
(2) If a new town is created where there is no immediate local government, the district council shall continue to govern the new town until the new town is gazeted and new elections held under part X of the LGA.
The interpretation of the above is that all meembers of the current Jinja district Local Government who represents electoral areas within the newly created Jinja City are automatically new members of Jinja City . This includes all elected leaders of the lower local governments within the new Jinja City.
However sec. 181 (1) of the Act provides:
“Where a chairperson or a member of the executive of an original local council is a person who was representing an electoral area within the newly created local government, that person shall cease to hold that office.”
This provision means that if the current chairperson or executive member of the original District was the same time a division councilor, with the creation of the new Jinja City he/she would have to loss his position as the chairperson or member of executive in the Interim Jinja City.
Most importantly, sec 181(2) of the Act provides that;
“Notwithstanding subsection (1) a Chairperson elected by universal adult sufferage shall have an option to remain chairperson of the original local government.” This means that the provisions of sec 182 would now apply for division councilors to elect amongst themselves the interim chairperson of Jinja City.
In the current standoff between the current chairperson of Jinja District and Mayor Jinja Municipal Council , the provisions of sec .181 does not apply.
PLEASE NOTE THAT Sec. 27 of the Act prohibits a member from holding more than one political or full- time office in more than one local government.
The interpretation of Sec. 27 is that the current chairperson of the District can not hold the office of the Chairperson of the new Jinja City and that of the Jinja District Local Government at the same time.
The above provisions of the Law now leaves 2 options to the current situation:
- The Chairperson of the lmmediate local government; and
- In the absence of the immediate local government the Division Councilors to elect amongst themselves the Interim Chairperson/Mayor of Jinja City under Sec 182 of the LGA.
To my understanding, the immediate local government of Jinja City is the Jinja Municipal Councl. Therefore the Mayor of Jinja Municipal Council should take charge as the Interim Mayor of Jinja City.
By: Julius Paul Ikanza Muliko
Senior Partner Muliko & Co. Advocates
MP Aspirant Luuka South Constituency 2021