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Serere Chairman, CAO Bicker Over Facilitation

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“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 LCV Boss, Joseph Opit Okojo.

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Serere District Chairman, Joseph Opit Okojo is bickering with his accounting officer, Gabriel Richards Atama over facilitation allowances. 

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 matter.

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 Ochengel.