Councillors want to debate in local languages


Local leaders from the five districts of Bunyoro sub-region have proposed to have council sessions of their local governments conduct business in their local languages as opposed to English.
Selected leaders from Hoima, Kagadi, Kibaale, Masindi, Kakumiro and Kyenjojo districts made the proposal during a two-day training workshop at Uganda Rural Development Training Centre (URDT) in Kagadi District on Tuesday.

The team also proposed amendments of some standard rules of procedures for district local councils.
According to the leaders, although English is Uganda’s official language, majority of councillors can hardly relate with the language, while others hardly comprehend the rules of procedure.
The leaders observed that this always wastes most of their time when debating and passing important resolutions.

Mr George William Bigirwa Tibyata, a councillor for the elderly in Kibaale District, while moving the proposal, said: “These people wanted us to stop using our mother tongue during council meetings but I said no because we need to deliberate in the language we understand most.”
The training attracted district chairpersons, Chief Administration Officers, district speakers and district councillors.
The leaders said if the proposed amendments to the standard rules of procedures for local councils are considered, they are optimistic they will have better and clear council sessions.

The training, which aimed at reviewing and proposing amendments of some standard rules of procedures for district local councils, was facilitated by a team from the Institute of Parliamentary Studies.
The councillors also proposed Senior Four as the minimum academic requirement for the position of district councillor.
Currently, there is no academic qualification requirement for someone to contest for the position of a councillor. This law only emphasises that one should be a citizen of Uganda, a registered voter and a person of sound mind, among others.

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