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Mpigi Councillors Plot to Oust District Chairperson

The district has been embroiled in a fight over the leadership pf the District Service Commission, since the end of the tenure of the previous commission one year ago. The bickering pits the District Executive Committee against the District Council.
22 Feb 2020 17:42
Peter Claveri Mutuluza

Audio 4

Mpigi District Councilors are mooting a plan to censure their Chairperson, Peter Claver Mutuluza amidst a row on the composition of the District Service Commission. 

The district has been embroiled in a fight over the leadership of the District Service Commission, since the end of the tenure of the previous commission one year ago. The bickering pits the District Executive Committee against the District Council. 

Godfrey Nalima, a representative from Kituntu says that the District Council had resolved that the previous chairperson Fredrick Kirumira is granted another term. But the District Executive Committee-DEC headed by the district chairperson proposed another name; Hajji Juma Bbosa, creating a misunderstanding with each group accusing the other of having ulterior motives.   

“Council being the supreme body, resolved that Kirumira be reappointed and told the chairperson to expedite the process so that the selected names are forwarded to Public Service for approval,” Nalima says. 

In the process, the council also requested the Chief Administrative Officer to seek a legal opinion from the Solicitor General on the matter. The Solicitor General replied indicating that the district council was legally right. At the time of the struggles, the district had received clearance from the central government to recruit over 60 staff in Administration, Education, and Health departments, among others. 

Patrick Katende, the workers' representative, notes the matter involves a sum of five billion Shillings in wages which they might lose if the process is delayed. He says that they need to oust the chairman to allow the district to deliver services to its people.

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The District Speaker Rogers Ssejemba says he has already guided the councillors to file a petition with two-thirds of the councillors signatures as required by law, to allow him to convene a council meeting to discuss the petition and also give the chairperson a fair hearing.  

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However, Edith Namubiru, a councillor representing the elderly notes that the matter was largely discussed during their recent retreat held in Masaka. She says that she had proposed that they borrow services of the District Service Commission from a nearby local government to take up the recruitment process as they wait for a resolution of the stalemate.

"This is an important issue which we shouldn’t be politicking about. Our people need services and all along we have been crying for the few teachers, health officers and parish chief. I thought that we should have service from Butambala and expedite the process,” Namubiru said.

Meanwhile, Joseph Ssempijja, the secretary for production observes that the censure petition mooted by some councillors is calculated to kick out the chairperson, on political grounds as the general elections are approaching.

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Mutuluza, also explains that although he had divergent thoughts on who should be heading the District Service Commission, he has also taken note of the Solicitors General’s opinion. 

He, however, says that even after explaining, the councillors refused to listen to him which shows that they had ulterior motives using the current mater as a trigger. “That is politics and I know before they even file the petition I will have taken action as advised. I will then wait and see their reaction,” Mutuluza said. 

Section 14 of the Local Government Act 1997, permits councillors to throw out the district chairperson on grounds of; abuse of office, corruption, incompetence, misconduct, failure to implement council decisions, mental incapacity that would render him/her incapable of official duties. 

But the CAO Moses Kanyaruteeke notes that even if the said names are cleared it is not automatic that they will be immediately approved by public service since they must go through an interview process.

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Kanyaruteeke says the best way of resolving the matter is to ensure that at least three District Service Commission members are approved since they make the quorum as the politicians sort out their game.