The sixteen year long wait for another election in the smallest administrative units in the country came to an end on the 10th of July as millions of Ugandans flocked polling stations to excercise their constitutional right to elect leaders of their choice. The ruling party, opposition parties and independents all fronted candidates ready to tussle it out for the office with the campaigns attracting an unprecedented amount of hype as heavy public address systems, mammoth crowds and detailed manifestos likened them to parliamentary contests.
Unlike the general elections, these local council elections had to be carried out in the absence of ballots but rather queing behind cadidates of choice which of course raised concern from a section of the public citing division as a likely aftermath of the excercise. However, the Electoral Commission's efforts to ensure new leaders were elected to take over from those who held the positions since 1996, most of whom had grown old or died and had consequently unofficially had successors inherit these offices. The commission's determination to see the elections held in every village despite the financial shortfalls, could not be thwarted as sensitisation had been carried out months earlier and law enforcement organs alerted on looking out for any malicious behaviour during and after the elections.
Also, Ugandans having since the shift to the multiparty system of governance been openly vocal about their political affiliations meant queing behind a candidate would not be a cause of concern. Loud ululations could be heard for the majority of the afternoon all over the country as the winning candidates' supporters hoisted the chair persons-elect shoulder high in celebration.
The ball is now in the hands of these chairpersons to serve their respective communities in matters regarding a wide range of matters involving land transactions, conflict resolutions since this is the first court to which community matters are resolved, resident registration and confirmation of residence, signing of immigration documents most notably passport acquisition and a host of other duties that fall within the jurisdiction of this office.
They will work with committee members hand selected by them immediately after declaration of their victories to above all ensure peaceful coexistence in their areas of influence.
We wish them the best for not only their regions but the country at large,for United we stand.