“The Chairperson has now threatened to resign with immediate effect, if the CAO is not transferred with immediate effect. The purpose of this communication therefore, is to inform you of the conflict between the Chairperson LCV and the CAO”, the RDC’s letter concludes.
Serere District Chairman, Joseph Opit Okojo is bickering with his accounting officer, Gabriel Richards Atama over facilitation
Reports from the district indicate that in September 2019, Okojo complained of inadequate facilitation to his office in form of
vehicle repair, fuel supply and other allowances. His official car is grounded forcing the chairman to use his personal car for work.
On October 30th, 2019, the District Security Committee team
tasked the Chief Administrative Officer, Atema, to explain irregularities
arising from the chairman’s complaints.
The report from the committee indicates
that the CAO attributed the irregularities to the rigidity of the Integrated
Financial Management System [IFMS], debts for last financial year and the
chairman’s poor resource management.
After resolving to end the woes during the security
committee meeting, the officers resorted to writing separate letters to the Local Government Ministry prompting ministry officials to weigh in on the
Much as the officials from the Directorate of Inspection in
the Ministry of Local Government promised to manage the matter not much
development was realized forcing the Resident District Commissioner, Geoffrey
Okiswa to petition the Minister for Presidency.
In his January 10th, 2020 letter, Okiswa asked for the intervention of higher authorities in resolving the conflict
between the chairman and CAO.
“The Chairperson has now threatened to resign with immediate
effect, if the CAO is not transferred with immediate effect. The purpose of
this communication therefore, is to inform you of the conflict between the
Chairperson LCV and the CAO”, the RDC’s letter concludes.
In his response, the CAO says the chairman is only frustrated
by the changes in the financial management after the district enrolled to the IFMS. He insists that there was no
budget discipline in the expenditure of the chairman, that he notes is limited.
According to Atema, the chairman has a budget of Shillings 5 million for fuel and about Shillings 8 million for car repairs, which he
observed has been grossly abused. He also claims that Okojo has refused to take
all the drivers assigned to him and resorted to private drivers.
//Cue in “Originally, the chairman…
Cue out…just that”//
But Okojo, on his part claims that the CAO has been politically
compromised by his opponents.
He told URN that he is ready grab CAO’s official
vehicle to run his [Okojo] office since the accounting officer has failed to
repair his official car.
//Cue in “The CAO is involved…
Cue out…as soon as I see”//
It’s not the first time, Okojo is fighting with the CAO in
the district. He had another serious conflict with first CAO of Serere, Ismael