Councilors in Maziba LC.3 sub-county have vowed not to return to council meetings after their sitting allowances were withheld by Kabale district authorities, to compensate a resident whose land was affected by the construction of a road.
Council President Ms. Jolly Byaruhanga has suspended proceedings until further notice, following a unanimous decision by councilors to boycott meetings until their allowances are paid.
The problems started from a September 2020 High Court case in which an Odeke Kamukama, a resident of Bugarama Parish, was awarded the UGX. 37.4 million as compensation for its land affected by the Kankodo road, which was built in 2016.
Kamukama had sued the local government of Kabale district for constructing the road that connects Bugarama parish to the rest of Maziba sub-county through his land without his consent.
On Wednesday this week, Maziba Sub-County Chief Loyce Asiimwe disclosed to councilors that the Kabale District Administration had decided to withhold their sitting allowances among other sub-county funds for the third quarter, in order to compensate Kamukama.
Asiimwe noted that after the court ruling, the sub-county and district authorities met with Kamukama and begged him to reduce the amount, but he refused arguing that he wasted a lot of money because the former sub-county leaders had refused to settle the matter with him. out of court.
Councilors were not happy with the decision, however, arguing that it was the district that had lost the case and should therefore pay compensation to Kamukama.
Maziba Sub-County LC.3 Chairman Onesmus Mutungi and Kavu Parish LC.3 Councilor Ms. Hope Arimpa said it was unfair to withhold funds for Maziba alone, while the sub -county is only an administrative unit of Kabale district.
Mutungi said that if Kabale District insisted on forcing leaders to contribute to Kamukama compensation, then every political leader in Maziba should be affected, from the LC.1 presidents to the MPS in the region.
Emmanuel Ainomugisha, the Maziba Sub-County LC.3 Youth Advisor, has moved a motion to suspend the council until their sitting allowances are released. He was assisted by Fred Biryahariwe who represents the parish of Bugarama.
However, the CAO of Kabale, Edmond Ntimba, said that by withholding funds for Maziba sub-county, they were merely implementing a resolution passed by the district council in which it was agreed that each sub-county should cover the costs arising from the compensation for its infrastructural development.
Ntimba said the resolution was passed about two years ago when the council discovered that community members were colluding with sub-county chiefs to deliberately build roads through people’s lands, and later sue the government for compensation.
He noted that the former sub-county leaders should have prepared community members for the new project before including the Kankondo road in their 2015/2016 fiscal year budget.