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Kitgum Council Rejects Statutory Board Nominees over Sectarianism Claims

Kitgum District Chairperson Christopher Obol Arwai had presented the nomination of new members of the District Land Board, the District Service Commission, the Hospital Management Board and the Public Accounts Commitee for approval by the district council on Thursday.

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A section of nominees for the different statutory boards of commissions in Kitgum district has been rejected over claims of sectarianism and imbalances by the District Executive Committee.

Kitgum District Chairperson Christopher Obol Arwai had presented the nomination of new members of the District Land Board, the District Service Commission, the Hospital Management Board and the Public Accounts Commitee for approval by the district council on Thursday. 

According to the list, Alex Ojwee had been nominated as the Chairperson of the District Land Board,  which also had Jennifer Amono Opira, Jeremano Obwona Lopez, Dorine Anywar Aketo and Sisto Okwera as members. However, the proposals of Jennifer Amono Opira, and Jermano Obwona Lopez and Sisto Okwera were questioned on grounds that they all hail from the same Sub County of Namukora.  

The councillor representing Central Division in Kitgum Municipality Frank Kidega said that the district executive committee was exhibiting sectarianism.

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Sisto Okwera was again challenged together with Alex Ojwee on allegations that they were close friends of the District Chairperson and that both nominees subscribe to the catholic faith, a denomination to which the district chairperson belongs.

A section of councillors rejected the nominations of Alex Ojwee as the chairperson saying the proposal was based on religious affiliation since the retired principal of the Kitgum Core PTC is an active catholic catechist and would easily be compromised in the numerous disputes involving school foundation bodies in the district.

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Arwai, however, refuted the claims of favouritism and imbalance saying that the nomination was not based on his personal choices but rather a joint decision by members of the District Executive Committee. According to Arwai, the names were generated and reviewed by the District Executive Committee based on their competence, experience in public service and integrity.

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The district speaker John Bosco Ocen subjected the matter to a vote in which nine members of the council voted in favour of Ojwee while 17 members voted against his nomination. The nomination of Jennifer Amono Opira and Sisto Okwera were both deferred awaiting a letter of recommendation by Kitgum Municipal Council and Namukora Rown supporting his nomination respectively.

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However, the nominations of Jeremano Obwona Lopez and Dorine Anywar Aketo were maintained and approved by the District Council. Rejected also was the nomination of Okumu Odongtoo John as a member of the Hospital Management Board of Kitgum General Hospital on grounds of religious affiliation and allegations of his reputation in public.

Meanwhile, other nominees including Alfred Obwoya, Grace Ogwang and Alphonse Obwoya Wod Olum were seconded and subsequently approved by the District Council as new members of the Kitgum General Hospital Management Board. Other boards of commissions that were approved include the nomination of Peter Obwoya Karlo as a member of the District Service Commission and the proposal of Pido Opoka, Marino Ongee Lol and Amnon Albina as members of the District Public Accounts Committee.