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Former Gulu Municipal, District Councilors Sue Cutting Short Their Term of Office

Geoffrey Komakech Oginga, the lead petitioner and former Tegwana Parish councilor, says that they are demanding their unpaid arrears totalling Shillings 168 million.
Morris Odong, the former Deputy Speaker of Gulu Municipal and one of the petitioners -Photo Jesse Johnson James

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The former Gulu District and Municipal councilors have sued the Attorney General and Gulu City Council for cutting their terms of office by one year. The 135 petitioners include 33 former Gulu Municipal Councilors, 8 former Gulu District Councilors, 39 formers councilors of Pece, Laroo, Layibi and Bardege divisions.  

Others are former Councilors from parts of Bungatira, Koro and Ongako Sub –Counties that were annexed by the city council. Through Natala and Company Advocates, the petitioners say that their five-year term was cut short by one year after Gulu Municipal was elevated to city status on July 1st, 2020, something they say contravened Article 181(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Section 7(9)(C) of the Local Government Act, which provides for a five electoral term of office.

Geoffrey Komakech Oginga, the lead petitioner and former Tegwana Parish councilor, says that they are demanding their unpaid arrears totalling Shillings 168 million.

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Oginga revealed that ever since July 1st, 2020 when Gulu began operating as a city, their work was halted without any convincing explanation and that they wrote to the Attorney General, Ministry of Local Government and Gulu City Clerk for legal advice but didn’t get any response.

Morris Odong,  the former  Deputy Speaker of Gulu Municipal, says that in their petition, they want the court to declare that their term of office was illegally cut short by the defendants, which frustrated them from performing their duties as councilors as stated in the Local Government Act.

He adds that the court should also declare that the defendant’s conduct caused them great financial loss and inconveniences among other demands.

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Patricia Aduu Julu, the former Pece Division PWD Councilor, says that stopping their work before the stipulated five years made the majority of them lose in the just concluded elections and interfered service delivery.

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Maxwell Ojok, the former Deputy Speaker of Laroo Division, says that the government acted like it is ignorant of different laws governing the country, something that prompted them to seek legal redress.

Moses Otimong, the Gulu City Clerk says that he has heard about the petition but his office has not received a copy yet. He revealed that an official from the office of the attorney general called him about the petition and promised to come up with their official position soon.