Gulu – The cultural, religious, district leaders and other stakeholders in Acholi sub-region were on Thursday left stranded after local government minister, Tom Butime failed to show up in a meeting he was expected.
The above leaders sat for nearly five  hours waiting for Minister Butime who had ‘hidden himself inside his hotel room’ in Gulu town.
Rwot Onen Acana II, the Acholi Paramount Chief, Bishop Kakumba Johnson, Sheikh Musa Killil, the Muslim Khadi for Acholi district, Gulu municipality mayor Gorge Labeja, Gulu RDC [Maj] Santos Okot Lapolo, Gulu district LC5 chairperson, Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, among other leaders were left stranded.
In his communication from his hotel room to Gulu district chairperson, Mapenduzi, who soon delivered his message to the leaders, minister Butime said he had not invited any religious and cultural leaders to meet him.
“I only came to meet Gulu municipal and district leaders as per the invitation by the district chairperson,” this was Butime’s message delivered by Mapenduzi.
According to the Minister, he was only invited to handle issues hindering government program and service delivery to the community following some councilors’ protest.
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Mr Butime’s decision and statement not to meet cultural and religious leaders saw rejected elderly leaders leaving the district council hall in total pain, in chorus.
Labeja George who’s the Gulu municipality mayor in an interview with our reporter after, expressed his disappointment – bashing the minister for leaving the issues he was invited for ‘as it was’.
Kelly Komakech, the Pece division chairperson accused mayor Labeja and the chairman Mapenduzi for dragging the Paramount Chief into the meeting he was not wanted.
Komakech says it a total disrespect to the Paramount Chief and the religious leaders of Acholi.
Oola Ambrose – the prime Minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi appreciated the minister for boycotting the Thursday meeting.
Mr Oola added that the district officials messed-up in their planning saying that they had received a letter from Mayor Labeja for mediation with the so called eleven rebel councilors.
Surprisingly, Oola revealed that in the letter inviting Ker Kwaro Acholi leaders, they were not told the Minister would attend the mediation talks, adding that such mediation would even be handled best by Acholi elders.
“As cultural institution, we have intervened before. On this one, we are going to conduct mediation between these leaders in order to improve on service delivery to the community in Gulu municipality,” Acholi Premier added.
When contacted by this news website on Phone, the minister declined talking much to our journalist saying that he was already on his way back to Kampala.