Emolument crisis: Mr CAO, “It’s too much, pay us within 14 days” – Lira councillors’ ultimatum

Ex Lira district Council Speaker Rashid Opio is among those in 'error'. FILE PHOTO.


Lira—28, May 2020: Lira district council speaker, George Rashid Opio has ordered Office of the District Chief Administrative Officer [CAO], Mr Ben Ogwete to pay district councillors’ emolument that has accumulated since January up-to-date.

In a Council meeting held on Wednesday at St Lira hotel’s conference hall for approving budget for financial year 2020/2021, Mr Opio told CAO to look for money within two weeks and clear councillors’ emolument to avoid legal implications.

His order follows pressure from a section of councillors who were protesting the special session on grounds that their emolument have not been paid since January. Many say they are now living desperately during the lockdown.

James Omara Elem, a vocal youth representative, stood up and raised the concerns of his fellow councillors over the unpaid emolument now at the sixth month.

“Mr Speaker Sir, now, we councillors are not well since we don’t have money and district have forgotten about it,” Omara said.

He further told the Council they were not interested in continuing with the meeting if no clear information was given to them.

Soon, both Jefferson Obalim [Central Division] and Richard Omara Awio [Railway Division] supported his motion.

TND News learnt that many councillors were threatening to protest the approval of the shs44.4b budget.

Lira District LC5 chairman, Alex Patrick Oremo Alot, told the councillors that the issue about delayed emolument has come because of lockdown.

It’s relevant to believe that coronavirus and its effect on both local and national economies of Uganda started in March this year, and it had made nearly three month minus the district councillors signing for their emoluments.

But according to the district chair, since local revenue sources are affected, he asked councillors to be patient.

“Payment shall be made before the end of June,” he promised.

Coronavirus respected.

All the councillors who attended the council session were observing social distancing regulation, and all wore facemask as a way of fighting coronavirus.

Story by Jimmy K Olot and Frank Oyugi

Contact us: newsroom@tndnewsug.com

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