By Moses Kizito Buule

Barely two weeks in office, the newly elected local council leadership of Lweza village, Mubanda parish in Mpatta sub-county have got down to business and held the inaugural village council during which hard hitting by-laws were set.

The council headed by chairman Sam Kalagga, defied the local government set arrangement of changing offices between the outgoing and in coming leaders, being sworn in as required by law and finalizing other petty formalities,and straight away began operation.

In the council meeting held on Wednesday at Mubanda trading centre, the chairman said they cannot wait for provisions including the official stamps from government as directed by President Museveni, reasoning that the village has been in stagnation for too long and that they cannot wait to cover up for the lost time.

He said the swearing in formalities being organized by government will find them in office, adding that there are burning issues like insecurity caused by unemployment, land wrangles, domestic violence and other vices calling for immediate address.

“We have burning issues like foreigners who have neither Ugandan nor village identification cards, we have residents who never got national identity cards and have no means of being identified in incidents like accidents, we have broken homes as a result of domestic violence, children have dropped out of school and there is food insecurity”, Kalagga told residents.

By laws okayed by residents include, among others, bars not to operate beyond 11.00 p.m, banning underage children from engaging in gambling, punishing parents of school-going age who are out of school, blocking police from effecting any arrests without seeking dialogue with local council leaders, and charging the secretary for women’s affairs, community development officers and the defence secretary with handling domestic violence issues.

The by-laws read out to residents by the LC I Secretary Afswa Nalubega also included mandatory fresh registration of residents, their spouses, dependents and guests at any time, barring unlicensed movement of animals from or through the village, not keeping overgrown bushes other than gazette places like forests, and avoiding stray animals.

Penalties set and okayed by resident s included compensation of amounts to be set to food owners whose food will be destroyed by owners of stray animals, confiscation of such animals if they stray into people’s food more than twice, unspecified fines to people who deliberately dodge burials or attending death vigils.

Boda boda riders were directed to liaise with the Defence Secretary who was given authority to monitor their movements especially during late hours,for surveillance purposes to weed out possibilities of ferrying criminals
and working in conditions likely to jeopardize their (riders’) lives.

In her address, Nalubega observed that in the past, many men have silently suffered in domestic violence cases, with their wives denying them food and conjugal rights, and pushing them out of houses into servants’ quarters. She noted that fighting domestic violence without considering men who suffer in this manner will be lop sided and unacceptable.

In an interview with New Vision, the chairman Kalagga explained that the reason for the expedited steps is the fact that the area is slated to be developed to a satellite city with facilities matching like agreeable security, and that developers have already started setting up investments in that direction.