Constitution:Chapter 11 - Local Government

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[edit] Principles and Structures of Local Government

[edit] Article 176 - Local government system

(1) The system of local government in Uganda shall be based on the district as a unit under which there shall be such lower local and administrative units as Parliament may by law provide. (2) The following principles shall apply to the local government system-

  • (a) the system shall be such as to ensure that functions, powers and responsibilities are devolved and transferred from the Government to local government units in a coordinated manner;
  • (b) decentralisation shall be a principle applying to all levels of local government and in particular, from higher to lower local government units to ensure peoples' participation and democratic control in decision making;
  • (c) the system shall be such as to ensure the full realisation of democratic governance at all local government levels;
  • (d) there shall be established for each local government unit a sound financial base with reliable sources of revenue;
  • (e) appropriate measures shall be taken to enable local government units to plan, initiate and execute policies in respect of all matters affecting the people within their jurisdiction;
  • (f) persons in the service of local government shall be employed by the local governments; and
  • (g) the local governments shall oversee the performance of persons employed by the Government to provide services in their areas and to monitor the provision of Government services or the implementation of projects in their areas.

(3) The system of local government shall be based on democratically elected councils on the basis of universal adult suffrage in accordance with clause (4) of article 181 of this Constitution.

[edit] Article 177 - Districts of Uganda

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, for the purposes of local governments Uganda shall be divided into the districts referred to in clause (2) of article 5 of this Constitution. (2) The districts referred to in clause (1) of this article shall be taken to have been divided into the lower local government units which existed immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution.

[edit] Article 178 - Co-operation among districts

(1) Two or more districts shall be free to co-operate in the areas of culture and development as set out in the Fifth Schedule to this Constitution and may, for that purpose, form and support councils, trust funds or secretariats, subject to the following- (* a) such co-operation shall conform to the democratic principles enshrined in this Constitution;

  • (b) the councils, trust funds or secretariats so formed shall not have power to levy taxes; but Parliament may make provision enabling them to raise funds in addition to funds made available to them by the cooperating districts;
  • (c) the terms and conditions of the co-operation shall be embodied in a charter signed by the consenting districts and deposited with the Speaker of Parliament; and
  • (d) the councils, trust funds or secretariats formed under this article shall have power to make rules, regulations and bye-laws in relation to the functions assigned to them; except that such rules, regulations and bye-laws shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution or any existing law and shall not be effective unless ratified by the district councils of the co-operating districts.

(2) The councils, trust funds or secretariats formed under this article shall be bodies corporate with powers to sue be sued. (3) Subject to clause (1) of this article and to the provisions of this Constitution, the districts of Buganda as specified in First Schedule to this Constitution, shall be deemed to have agreed to co-operate on the coming into force of this Constitution. (4) Any district may withdraw from co-operation under this article if-

  • (a) a resolution is passed by the district council of the district in favour of withdrawal, supported by two-thirds of all the members of the council; and
  • (b) the resolution is supported by a resolution of Parliament.

[edit] Article 179 - Boundaries of local government units

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may-

  • (a) alter the boundaries of districts; and
  • (b) create new districts.

(2) Any measure to alter the boundary of a district or to create a new district shall be supported by a majority of all the members of Parliament. (3) Parliament shall by law empower district councils to alter the boundaries of lower local government units and to create new local government units within their districts. (4) Any measure for the alteration of the boundaries of the creation of districts or administrative units shall be based on the necessity for effective administration and the need to bring services closer to the people and it may take into account the means of communication, geographical features, density of population, economic viability and the wishes of the people concerned.

[edit] Article 180 - Local government councils

(1) A local government shall be based on a council which shall be the highest political authority within its area of jurisdiction and which shall have legislative and executive powers to be exercised in accordance with this Constitution. (2) Parliament shall by law prescribe the composition, the qualifications, functions and electoral procedures in respect of local government councils, except that-

  • (a) the person elected as District Chairperson of a local government shall be a member of the council;
  • (b) one third of the membership of each local government council shall be reserved for women; and
  • (c) any law enacted by virtue of this article shall provide for affirmative action for all marginalised groups referred to in article 32 of this Constitution;
  • (d) Parliament shall exercise similar powers of review as stipulated in clause (2) of article 78 of this Constitution, in relation to paragraphs (b) and (c) of this clause.

(3) A person shall not be a member of a local government council unless that person is a citizen of Uganda.

[edit] Article 181 - Elections of local government councils

(1) A district shall be divided by the Electoral commission into electoral areas which shall be demarcated in such a way that the number of inhabitants in the electoral areas councils re as nearly as possible equal. (2) The number of inhabitants in an electoral area may be greater or less than other electoral areas in order to take account means of communication, geographical features and density of population. (3) The demarcation of electoral areas shall ensure that a sub-county, a town council or an equivalent part of a municipality is represented at the district council by at least one person. (4) All local government councils shall be elected every four years. (5) Elections of all local government councils shall take place at least sixty days before the expiry of the term of the existing council, but shall not coincide with Presidential or parliamentary elections.

[edit] Article 182 - Revocation of mandate

(1) Subject to clause (2) of this article, the mandate of an elected member of a local government council may be revoked by the electorate. (2) Parliament shall by law prescribe the grounds on which and the manner in which the electorate may revoke the mandate of an elected member of a local government council.

[edit] Article 183 - District Chairperson

(1) There shall be a District Chairperson who shall-

  • (a) be the political head of the district; and
  • (b) be elected by universal adult suffrage through a secret ballot.

(2) A person is not qualified to be elected District Chairperson unless he or she is-

  • (a) qualified to be elected a member of Parliament;
  • (b) at least thirty years and not more than seventy-five years of age; and
  • (c) a person ordinarily resident in the district.

(3) The District Chairperson shall-

  • (a) preside at meetings of the executive committee of the district;
  • (b) monitor the general administration of the district;
  • (c) co-ordinate the activities of urban councils and councils of the lower local administrative units in the district;
  • (d) co-ordinate and monitor Government functions as between the district and the Government; and
  • (e) perform such other functions as Parliament may prescribe.

(4) In the performance of the functions under clause (3) of this article, the Chairperson shall be subject to the rules, decisions and recommendations of the district council and be answerable to the council.

[edit] Article 184 - Speaker of District Council

(1) Each district council shall have a Speaker elected by the district council from among its members; but a person shall only be taken to have been elected if the votes cast in his or her favour are more than fifty percent of all the members of the council. (2) The Speaker of the council shall, in relation to the council, perform similar functions to those of the Speaker of Parliament.

[edit] Article 185 - Removal of District chairperson and speaker

The District Chairperson or the Speaker of a district council may be removed from office by the council by resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all members of the council on any of the following grounds-

  • (a) abuse of office;
  • (b) misconduct or misbehaviour; or
  • (c) such physical or mental incapacity as would render him or her incapable of performing the duties of his or her office.

(2) Parliament shall prescribe any other grounds and the for the removal of a District Chairperson or the Speaker of a council under this article.

[edit] Article 186 - District executive committee

(1) There shall be an executive committee for each Distinct council which shall perform the executive functions of the council. (2) An executive committee shall consist of-

  • (a) the District Chairperson;
  • (b) the Vice-Chairperson; and
  • (c) such number of Secretaries as the council may decide.

(3) The Vice-Chairperson shall be a person nominated by the District Chairperson from among members of the council and approved by two-thirds of all members of the council. (4) The Secretaries shall be nominated by the Chairperson from among members of the council and approved by a majority of all members of the Council. (5) The Vice-Chairperson shall deputise for the Chairperson and shall perform such other functions as may be assigned to him or her by the Chairperson. (6) If the District Chairperson dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the office of Chairperson until the election of a new District Chairperson, but the election shall be held within six months after the occurrence of the event. (7) A Secretary shall have responsibility for such functions of the district council as the District Chairperson may, from to time assign to him or her. (8) A district council shall appoint standing and committees necessary for the efficient performance of its functions (9) The following shall apply with respect to the composition of the committees of a district council

  • (a) the chairpersons and members of the committees be elected from among the members of the council
  • (b) the District Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson a Secretary, shall not be members of a committee of the council but may take part in its proceedings without voting.

[edit] Article 187 - Vacation of office of member of district executive committee

(1) The office of a member of a district executive committee shall become vacant if-

  • (a) the appointment of that member is revoked by the District Chairperson; or
  • (b) that member-
    • (i) is elected as Speaker of the district council;
    • (ii) resigns from office;
    • (iii) becomes disqualified to be a member of the council;
    • (iv) is unable to perform his or her function to mental or physical incapacity or die
    • (v) is censured by the council; or
  • (c) a new Chairperson assumes office.

(2) A district council may, by resolution supported by not less than half of all members of the council, pass a censure against a member of the executive committee. (3) Proceedings for censure shall be initiated by a petition to the Chairperson through the Speaker signed by not less than one-third of all the members of the district council to the effect that they are dissatisfied with the conduct or performance of the member of the executive committee. (4) The Chairperson shall, upon receipt of the petition, cause a copy of it to be given to the member of the executive committee in question. (5) The motion for the resolution of censure shall not be debated until the expiry of fourteen days after the petition was sent to the Chairperson. (6) A member of the executive committee in respect of whom a vote of censure is debated under clause. (5) of this article is entitled during the debate to be heard in his or her defence. (7) Nothing in this article shall prevent a person from being re-appointed to the executive committee of a district council.

[edit] Article 188 - Chief Administrative officer

(1) There shall be a Chief Administrative Officer for every district. (2) The Chief Administrative Officer shall be appointed by the District Service Commission and shall be the chief accounting officer for the district. (3) Parliament shall by law establish the qualifications 3rd functions of the Chief Administrative Officer.


[edit] Article 189 - Functions of Government and district councils

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the functions and services specified in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution shall be the responsibility of the Government. (2) District councils and the councils of lower local government units may, on request by them, be allowed to exercise the functions and services specified in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution or if delegated to them by the Government or by Parliament by law. (3) District councils shall have responsibility for any functions and services not specified in the Sixth Schedule to this Constitution. (4) Subject to the provisions of this constitution Government may, on request by a district council, assume responsibility for functions and services assigned to the district council.

[edit] Finances of Local Governments

[edit] Article 190 - Planning

District councils shall prepare comprehensive and grated development plans incorporating the plans of lower local governments for submission, to the National Plan Authority.

[edit] Article 191 - Power to levy and appropriate taxes

(1) Local governments shall have power to levy, charge, collect and appropriate fees and taxes in accordance with any law enacted by Parliament by virtue of article 152 of Constitution. (2) The fees and taxes to be levied, charged, collected appropriated under clause (1) of this article shall consist of rents, rates, royalties, stamp duties, personal graduated tax, cess, on registration and licensing and any other fees and taxes that Parliament may prescribe. (3) No appropriation of funds by a local government shall be made unless approved in a budget by its council. (4) Parliament shall by law make provision for appeals in relation to taxes to which this article applies.

[edit] Article 192 - Collection of taxes by local governments

Parliament shall by law provide-

  • (a) for the taxes that may be collected by a local government for or on behalf of the Government for pay into the Consolidated Fund;
  • (b) for a local government to retain for the purposes of its functions and services, a specified proportion of revenues collected for or on behalf of Government from the district.

[edit] Article 193 - Grants to local government

(1) The President shall for each financial year, in accordance with this Constitution, cause to be presented to Parliament proposals as to the moneys to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund as-

  • (a) unconditional grant in accordance with clause (2) of this article;
  • (b) conditional grant in accordance with clause (3) of this article;
  • (c) equalisation grant in accordance with clause (4) of this article.

(2) Unconditional grant is the minimum grant that shall be paid to local governments to run decentralised services and shall be calculated in the manner specified in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution. (3) Conditional grant shall consist of moneys given to local governments to finance programmes agreed upon between the Government and the local governments; and shall be expended only for the purposes for which it was made and in accordance with the conditions agreed upon. (4) Equalisation grant is the money to be paid to local governments for giving subsidies or making special provisions for the least developed districts; and shall be based on the degree to which a local government unit is lagging behind the national I average standard for a particular service. (5) District councils shall be obliged to indicate how conditional and equalisation grants obtained from the Government are to be passed onto the lower levels of local government. (6) The proposals made under clause (1) of this article shall be made at the same time as the estimates of revenue and expenditure under article 155 of this Constitution and shall state the sums of moneys that are to be paid to each local government. (7) The proposals made under this article shall form part of the Appropriation Act as provided for in article 156 of this Constitution .

[edit] Article 194 - Local government Finance Commission

(1) There shall be a Local Government Finance Commission which shall consist of seven members appointed by the President. (2) Of the seven members referred to in clause (1) of this article, four shall be nominated by the local governments. (3) The members of the Local Government Finance Commission shall elect from among themselves a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson. (4) The Local Government Finance Commission shall-

  • (a) advise the President on all matters concerning the distribution of revenue between the Government and local governments and the allocation to each local government of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund;
  • (b) in consultation with the National Planning Authority, consider and recommend to the President the amount to be allocated as the equalisation and conditional grants and their allocation to each local government;
  • (c) consider and recommend to the President potential sources of revenue for local governments;

(d) advise the local governments on appropriate tax levels to be levied by local governments;

  • (e) perform such other functions as Parliament shall prescribe.

(5) The expenses of the Commission, including salaries, allowances and pensions payable to persons serving with the Commission, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

[edit] Article 195 - Loans and Grants

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and with the approval of the Government, a local government may, for the carrying out of its functions and services, borrow money or accept and use any grant or assistance as Parliament shall prescribe.

[edit] Article 196 - Accountability

Parliament shall make laws-

  • (a) requiring each local government to draw up a comprehensive list of all its internal revenue sources and to maintain data on total potential collectable revenues;
  • (b) prescribing financial control and accountability measures for compliance by all local governments;
  • (c) imposing regular audit requirements and procedures for local governments.

[edit] Article 197 Financial autonomy of urban authorities

Urban authorities shall have autonomy over their financial and planning matters in relation to the district councils as Parliament may, by law provide.

[edit] District Service Commissions

[edit] Article 198 - District Service Commissions

(1) There shall be a District Service Commission for each District. (2) The District Service Commission shall consist of a chairperson and such other members as the district council shall determine, at least one of whom shall represent urban authorities and all of whom shall be appointed by the district council on the recommendation of the district executive committee with the approval of the Public Service Commission. (3) Members of a District Service Commission shall be persons of high moral character and proven integrity. (4) Members of a District Service Commission shall hold office for a period of four years but are eligible for re-appointment for one more term. (5) In the performance of its functions, a District Service Commission shall conform to the standards established by the Public Service Commission for the public service generally. (6) A member of the District Service Commission may be removed from office by the executive committee of the district with the approval of the district council and after consultation with the Public Service Commission but may be removed only for-

  • (a) inability to perform the functions of that office arising from physical or mental incapacity;
  • (b) misbehaviour or misconduct; or
  • (c) incompetence.

[edit] Article 199 - Secondment of staff

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Government may, on request by a district council, post persons to fill, assist and complement the service of a local government.

[edit] Article 200 - Functions of District Service Commissions

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the power to appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the service of a district, including the power to confirm appointments, to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in any such office and to remove those persons from office is vested in the District Service Commission. (2) The terms and conditions of service of local government staff shall conform with those prescribed by the Public Service Commission for the public service generally. (3) The District Service Commission may establish committees in respect of specialised disciplines.

[edit] General

[edit] Article 201 - Exercise of administrative functions

201. The functions of a district government shall be exercised in accordance with this Constitution and any other law; but the exercise of those functions shall not detract from the order and good governance of any part of Uganda.

[edit] Article 202 - Take-over of district administration by President

(1) The President may, with the approval of two-thirds Take-over of all the members of Parliament, assume the executive and legislative powers of any district in any of the following circumstances-

  • (a) where the district council so requests and it is in the public interest to do so;
  • (b) where a state of emergency has been declared in that district or in Uganda generally; or
  • (c) where it has become extremely difficult or impossible for district government to function.

(2) The exercise by the President of the power conferred by this article, may be done through such persons or officers as the President may appoint; and the legislative functions shall be exercised by statutory instruments. (3) Unless approved by Parliament for a longer term, the exercise by the President of the power conferred by this article, shall be for a period not exceeding ninety days. (4) Upon the expiry of the term under clause(3) of this

  • (a) the President shall hand back the administration of the district to the incumbent district government; or
  • (b) if Parliament decides that the prevailing circumstances still make it impossible for the incumbent district government to resume the administration of the district then-
    • (i) where the unexpired term of the council is longer than twelve months, the President shall cause elections to be held for a new district council within sixty days; or
    • (ii) where the unexpired term of the council is less than twelve months the President shall continue to administer the district until the next elections are held.

[edit] Article 203 - Resident District Commissioner

(1) There shall be for each district a Resident District Commissioner who shall be a senior civil servant appointed by the President. (2) The functions of a Resident District Commissioner are-

  • (a) to co-ordinate the administration of Government services in the district;
  • (b) to advise the District Chairperson on matters of a national nature that may affect the district or its plans and programmes and particularly the relations between the district and the Government; and
  • (c) to carry out such other functions as may be assigned by the President or prescribed by Parliament.

[edit] Article 204 - Terms and conditions of Service

Parliament shall prescribe the guidelines to be followed by the district councils, in determining terms and conditions of service for-

  • (a) members of the local government councils; and
  • (b) members of the District Service Commissions and their committees.

[edit] Article 205 - Prohibition of holding political office

(1) No person shall hold concurrently on a full time basis-

  • (a) in the service of the Government and that of a local government; or
  • (b) in the service of a higher local government and that of a lower local government.

(2) In this article, "political office" means the office of a Minister, a member of Parliament or a member of a local government council, or any other office prescribed by Parliament.

[edit] Article 206 - Parliament to make laws regarding local government

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament shall make laws relating to local Government for the laws purpose of giving full effect to this Chapter. (2) Without prejudice to the general effect of clause (1) of this article, Parliament may make laws-

  • (a) limiting the number of political offices that may be created by the local governments;
  • (b) enabling councils to make laws, regulations or other instruments for the administration of their areas of jurisdiction;
  • (c) requiring that with appropriate modifications, the system of government as it operates at district level shall apply at the lower levels of local government units.

[edit] Article 207 - Interpretation

In this Chapter, a reference to a local government Inter includes-

  • (a) a district council;
  • (b) an urban council;
  • (c) a sub-county council; or
  • (d) any other unit prescribed by law to replace any of the councils mentioned in paragraphs (a),

(b) and (c) of this article.

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