Bitter Row Grips Nakasongola District over Ex-Councilors’ Smartphones

Speaker Rogers Bwanga tells URN he received the petition last week and wrote to the Clerk to council to avail him the relevant documents over the the ten phones which were purchased last October and had to be returned at the expiry of the councilors' term of office.
14 Jun 2021 18:18

Audio 2

Nakasongola district speaker, Sunday Rogers Bwanga, has launched a probe into the nasty smartphone deadlock between the Chief Administrative Officer -CAO Alex Felix Majeme and the ex-district councilors. 

Last Thursday, on June 10, 2021, 8 former district councilors petitioned Sunday Rogers Bwanga, the new district speaker, for his intervention, as they seek to retain smartphones the district purchased for their official use. 

The development followed renewed pressure to return the phones which are treated as government property by CAO Alex Felix Majeme. 

Last month, CAO Majeme, ordered all out-going councilors, to return the smartphones earlier distributed to them.  In October 2020, the district purchased 25 smartphones worth 10 million shillings and distributed them to the councilors for communication and research while conducting council business.  The councilors then signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) saying at the end of the term, they would return the phones. 

However, during the last council session chaired by Frederick Lwanga Balam held on May 11, the councilors unanimously passed a resolution to retain the phones as their own.The reasoned that they remain key points of reference for their successors. 

CAO Majeme wrote to them saying the resolution was not legally binding, and they must have returned the phones by May 21st. 

Out of the 25 councilors who were sitting on last term’s council, 12 never returned. This term has seen an increase in the number of councilors from 25 to 33. It’s against this background that CAO Majeme argued that it would be costly if the cash-strapped district has to purchase smartphones again. 

The targeted councilors have since failed to heed to the CAO’s ultimatum prompting more pressure.  Speaking to Uganda Radio Network -URN, Speaker Bwanga acknowledges receipt of the petition last week. He reveals that he has as his first step to look into the aggrieved councilors’ petition, written to the Clerk to council to avail him with relevant documents.

Luganda Audio //Cue in: "Nnawandiikidde Clerk wange... 

Cue out: ...tulabe kiki ekitambula."// 

English Audio 

//Cue in: "Now after receiving... 

Cue out: ...retain their phones."//