14 March 2013

Uganda: Failure to Elect LCS Leading to Crime

The failure to elect new local council leaders is contributing to an increase in the crime rate across the country, the state minister for local government, Alex Onzima, has said.

"The importance of local council courts cannot be overlooked because they contribute to a reduction of case backlog in courts if continued support is extended to them," he said.

Onzima said the Government recognises the enormous effort made by development partners in supporting the improvement of local administration of justice through the local council courts.

The minister made the remarks during the monitoring and evaluation of Justice Law and Order Sectors at Kyenjojo district headquarters recently.

He noted that a decentralised system of governance, which Uganda adopted in 1992, provides an ideal mechanism for delivering services and democratic governance to citizens.

"Considering the critical role local council courts play in the administration of justice, the community looks up to these structures for redress. We hope the support towards these structures contributes to transformation of the informal justice system," Onzima said.

"The Ministry of Local Government regrets the delayed election of the village and parish councils that form the first two structures of the local councils 1 and 2. We are working tirelessly with the Ministry of Finance and the Electoral Commission to ensure that the village and parish elections are conducted," he added

Onzima said the LC (Amendment Bill) 2012 was passed last week, which will pave way for the election of local councillors 1 and 2.

However, the Bill is awaiting presidential approval.

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