The supporters of the opposition National Unity Platform party have threatened to drag to court local government Minister Raphael Magyezi, challenging the decision to extend terms of office for local council one and two chairpersons and describing it as illegal.
Through their lawyer, Mbabaali, and co-advocates, the NUP supporters under the umbrella of Kunga Chapter, in a letter dated Monday, August 28, 2023, informed the Speaker of Parliament, Anet Anita Among, about the decision.
“The purpose hereof is to notify you that as a result of your lack of action on this serious matter, we have received instructions to take the matter to courts of law from the chairmen of nine branches of the NUP party’s Kunga Uganda, led by Kakooza Robert, the chairperson of NUP Kunga Uganda-Rubaga South, who is also the LCI chairperson of Kayanja Zone, and Mugerwa Jorden, the chairperson of NUP Kunga Uganda-Rubaga North,” the letter of intention to sue reads in part.
According to Mbabaali, Minister Magyezi illegally amended Section 170 of the Local Government Act that fixes the tenure of the said committees to a period of five years, which amendment can only be done by Parliament.
He added that Magyezi’s move contradicts the doctrine of separation of power and the constitution, as Article 111(2) of the national constitution clearly states the functions of the minister, excluding the making of laws or amending acts of the parliament.
“Sometime back, as lawyers wrote to the speaker of parliament over this matter of extending the term of office of these committees, the speaker has not responded as to why the minister amended the act yet the parliament did not pass an amendment,” Mbabaali said.
In July, Parliament steered by Speaker Anita Among approved the government statutory instrument detailing guidelines for LC I and II leaders whose tenure has been extended for the next 6 months.
This was tabled by the Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi.