Four Lira councillors have been arrested for allegedly locking the main gate to the district headquarters in protest over non-payment of their allowances.
The councillors were protesting the non-payment of their 6-month allowances for monitoring and fueling, which amounted to Shs2.5 million each.
The arrested councillors include Denis Owera of Itek Sub-County, Bonny Okello of Ayami Sub-County, Isaac Ojok of Agweng Town Council, and Moses Odunu of Amach Town Council. They are currently being held at Lira Central police station.
Lira City Police Commander ASP Joseph Bakaleke led the operation to arrest the councillors and cautioned them against taking matters into their own hands, stating that they had no authority to close a public facility.
Charles Enanga, a councillor for Agali Sub County, accused top Lira District authorities, including the Chief Administrative Officer and the district council chairman, of incompetence. Enanga claimed that they had been requesting their pay but had been ignored.
Lira District Chairman Richard Cox Okello Orik suggested that the non-payment was due to an unprecedented shortfall in local revenue collection, which fell below the expected Shs3 billion.
He stated that before a councillor is paid a monitoring allowance, they must have gone to the field and presented a report to the clerk of the council, but none of the detained councillors had done so.