Home Letters Communities Ministry stifling local authority system
The Ministry of Communities has made a mockery of the Local Government Elections (LGE) system, as it relates to the binding legal framework for the expected necessary Government to provide support, contrary to the expectations of elected councils, however, the Ministry has been partisan and administratively suppressive in the context of Local Government jurisdiction. Their adjusted strategy is now premised on countering lost image in view of the obviously inexorable elections. As such, the Government has set about creating another deceptive framework intent on fooling citizens with undelivered promises.
It is a fact which should be widely recognised that the Government, over the past three years, through their Ministry of Communities, imposed policies to take the wind out of the sail of councils won by the PPP/C. This turned out to be futile in light of the LGE results, forging some very desperate measures. Administratively, they initially moved to deflate decisions made by the councils by flagrantly encouraging abuse of authority by Overseers and Regional Executive Officers (REOs). The Ministry of Communities has been commandeering and approving actions by these officers regarding where finances should be expended which run in conflict with decisions made by councils.
One can obviously deduce from the Ministry’s concurrent actions that they seek to run things at the NDCs from the inside. The Government imposition of delaying tactics related to the full establishment of the Local Government Commission (LGC) has been deliberate, given that this entity has the constitutional authority for investigating and monitoring Local Authority Area Councils. This is clear after the numerous delays and continued manipulating manoeuvres which negatively affect the timely release of appropriated financial appropriations for the effective operations of the LGC.
It is quite embarrassing that the cabal seems to have succeeded in pauperising and limiting the investigative teeth of the LGC, which in effect, makes the entity an ineffective paper tiger. Chairpersons of LAA Councils have informed that the LGC frequently fails to formally acknowledge or treat with convenient speed, their complaints and reports. At the same time, the Government-appointed Chairman and leaders of the Commission remain disappointingly silent. It is notable that the Ministry continues to drive a system in which approvals of spending on projects by NDCs are subject to approval by Government controlled REOs when such actions fall under the functional mandate of the LGC.
This situation runs counter to the position of Government Ministers who were part of the Select Committee of the National Assembly prior to 2015. The records of Parliament confirm that they advocated for amendments now adopted in existing legislation that correctly recognises the need for expansive empowerment at the Local Authority level together with appropriate monitoring by the LGC.
Now that they have been found wanting for breach of contract to the people, however, the strategy has changed in accordance with their true nature. In reality, the new position can be described as nothing but a woeful attempt to neutralise citizens’ rejection of their incompetent, fraudulent, vindictive and increasingly unpopular behaviour.
The sinister guile contemplated in the design of the so-called ‘bringing the Government to the people outreach’ approach is obvious. It is nothing but short of vacuous gaff intent on overriding the LAA Councils in some respect, which significantly undermines their empowerment while creating a false image of the Government’s ineptness in the system of local governance across the country. They simply do not have the time to fulfil these promised announcements and it is evident that they are illegal and on borrowed time.
As if the foregoing is not shamefully revealing enough for the coalition, the appalling manipulation seems to be everywhere. It stems from the slaughtering the APNU/AFC received at the 2016 Local Government Elections when the PPP/C captured forty thousand votes more than the coalition.