President Yoweri Museveni (centre) with a group of women LC1 and LC2 councillors after meeting at Kaunda Grounds in Gulu on Friday

President Yoweri Museveni, has promised to improve pay for the chairpersons of LC1, LC2 and women councillors in the country from the current sh120,000 per year. Museveni was responding to concerns raised by the chairperson LC1 of Green Valley sub-ward, under Bar-Dege Division in Gulu municipality, Stephen Olanya. Olanya, during the meeting of the LCs and women councillors at Kaunda Ground, Bar-Dege division had on Friday raised a number of issues, including meagre payments to the LCs by the Government.

Olanya said the payment of sh120,000 per year, which is about sh10,000 a month, was an abuse to the LC1 and LC2 chairpersons.

“Your Excellency, I would like to bring to your attention that the amount of money is too little to aid the work of the LC1s and LC2s and the women councillors. We, therefore, appeal to the National Resistance Movement government, whose you are the party chairperson, to do something to raise the amount to something reasonable,” Olanya said.

President Museveni did not give a firm commitment on the matter, but promised that the Government would try to find a way to improve the working conditions of councillors. “Your number as the LCs is big, but we shall work around with the Ministry of local government and find a solution in a special way so that it does not appear as a punishment to the LCs. We don’t want it to prevent them (LCs) from doing their work well.

So, the local government ministry of will workout a formula to support the LC1 and LC2s,” Museveni said. Recently, local government state minister, Jenipher Namuyangu, said the Government decided to start paying all executive committee members of each local council I and 2 a token of appreciation for their work. She called it an ex-gratia payment, which refers to compensation voluntarily made by the Government.

Namuyangu said it will be paid in the new financial year which starts in July.

“We are coming up with a paper, which will be presented to Cabinet and then we shall agree on how we can support them in terms of giving them some ex-gratia. If we present it (paper) before the end of this financial year, then definitely they must have their money effective next financial year, which is July onwards,” she said.

However, the minister says they have not decided on the amount. She stated that the payment will depend on the speed at which they move and the availability of money. “You cut your coat according to your cloth. So, if we can afford to give each of them sh20,000 or sh30,000 (per month), well and good.

We must do consultations to ensure what we are proposing can fit into the available funding because we are talking about almost 70,000 LCs times 11 members of the executive then you go to LCII (parishes) in the country times the 11 members. So, that is the number we are talking about,” she stressed. LC1 chairpersons have been receiving an ex-gratia of sh120,000 per year. But they complain that sh10,000 is not enough.

Museveni hailed the lowers LCs for their tireless work, to provide leadership to the people in the villages despite the meagre payment.