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Former Fort Portal Councillors Run to Court Over Sitting Allowances

Without citing a specific law mandating him to make changes, the minister went ahead to appoint the mayors of the municipalities as interim city mayors. Magyezi also promised to issue guidelines that were to be followed to form interim city councils and executives but the promise was never fulfilled.
Gilbert Kayondo

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Former Fort Portal division and municipal councillors have run to the high court to seek redress over their accumulated sitting allowances.  The councillors have sued Fort Portal City and the Attorney general for non-payment of their allowances.  In their petition, the councillors say that they were elected in 2016 for a five-year term that expires this month. 

They, however, say that the contract with their voters was terminated prematurely after Fort Portal was elevated from a municipality to a tourism city status.  Fort Portal tourism city became operational on July 1, 2020, prompting the local government minister, Raphael Magyezi to dissolve the municipality.   

Without citing a specific law mandating him to make changes, the minister went ahead to appoint the mayors of the municipalities as interim city mayors. Magyezi also promised to issue guidelines that were to be followed to form interim city councils and executives but the promise was never fulfilled.  

Nine months later, there is no city council because the mayor is the only political leader. Gilbert Kayondo, the former speaker of the Fort Port municipal council, says that they were supposed to receive sitting allowances before and during this period but they have not got even a single coin.   

//Cue in: “Fort Portal municipal…

 

Cue out… from sitting.”//    


 

Innocent Mugabi, the legal representative of the councillor, says that his clients have a strong case since they were legally voted but their term of office was prematurely terminated without any compensation.   

//Cue in: “If you recall…

 

Cue out… the attorney general.”//        

Court is yet to summon Fort portal city and the Attorney general to file defence in the matter.  The high court decision on this application will equally affect the other cities such as Gulu, Lira, Mbale, Mbarara, Masaka and Arua among others that came into force at the same time.

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