Former councillors close Gulu City Hall over unpaid allowances

Gulu City woman Member of Parliament cum Leader of Opposition in Uganda’s parliament, Betty Aol Ocan, addresses the aggrieved councillors on Monday, March 22, 2021 at Gulu City Yard formerly Gulu Municipal Yard.

More than 40 former councillors yesterday (Monday) closed the offices of Gulu City bringing business to a halt for the whole day over delayed payment of their emoluments amounting to Shs347m.

The aggrieved politicians stormed Gulu City Hall at around 11am, directed all staffs out of the offices before closing them.

The councillors, most of who failed to retain their seats in the recent polls, later pitched camp at the city headquarters waiting for the town clerk to pay their arrears.

Last week, the two parties agreed to end the impasse; with the town clerk pledging to clear their emoluments by March 31, this year.

Former Layibi Division councillors are demanding for Shs5.4m, Laro Division councillors are demanding for Shs6.7m, Pece Division councillors are for demanding Shs37.4m, Bardege Division councillors are demanding for Shs12m while Gulu municipal councillors are demanding for Shs285.6m.

The councillors told Kazi-njema News reporter that they have not been paid their emoluments for several sectoral committee and plenary council sittings since March 2020.

Mr Morris Odong, the former Gulu municipal council deputy speaker, said they have petitioned the Minister of Local Government and other relevant offices to respond to the crisis threatening that technocrats will not re-occupy the offices if action is not taken to solve the matter.

Audio: Odong on office closure (English)
A placard dropped at the doorway on Monday, March 22, 2021, notifies the public of the the closure of Gulu City Hall.

Gulu municipal council including its four divisions ceased to exist on July 1, 2020, following its elevation to city status.

Speaking to the aggrieved councillors, the Gulu City woman Member of Parliament cum Leader of Opposition in Uganda’s parliament, Betty Aol Ocan, hailed the move that the politicians took.

Audio: Aol on office closure (English)

Efforts to get a comment from the town clerk, Edward Kiwanuka, were fruitless since his known mobile number was off at the time of filing this story.

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