Parliament has approved a proposal by Kasilo County legislator Elijah Okupa making it mandatory for contestants at urban and municipal top leadership to have Advanced Level (A’Level) certificates.
This was during a debate on the Local Government Amendment Bill of 2019 on Wednesday.
According to an amendment, those seeking to become Mayors and Chairpersons for City, Municipality divisions and Town Councils shall have to present an A level certificate. Councillors and Sub-County Chairpersons however, have been spared.
During the debate, some legislators including Maracha East MP, James Acidri had wanted this law to include councillors arguing that this would improve leadership quality.
Acidri said as a result of government’s free for all education policy, this requirement should not be a problem.
Acidri’s line of argument was backed by his Bugabula South counterpart, Maurice Kibalya who said this would encourage citizens from taking education seriously.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga however, opposed this citing the district of Mayuge where seven solid sub counties have no secondary school.
While division and municipality mayoral/ Chairperson Aspirants have to face this litmus test, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga observed that including councillors as well would pose grave challenges. This, Kadaga said was premised on the fact that there’s now a short period to nominations for Local Government posts for July 20, 2020.
“I think let us look at the environment, there are people who are planning to contest. I think that they are campaigning they are organizing money, they are organizing their teams,” she ruled.
Whereas some MPs are worried on how this law shall blend with others such as Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) that is administered under a separate structure, Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa sees no problem.
“Once we create qualifications under the local government act those qualifications will automatically apply to the city and that is what the KCCA act,” Basalirwa opined.