Four of the nine Parliament Committee clerks who were affected a mini shuffle effected by the House Clerk Jane Kibirige were accused of drunkenness, poor working relations with committee chairpersons and absenteeism.
Although the reasons were not explicitly stated in the Loose Minute Ms Kibirige wrote on Monday June 26, communicating the changes, sources in Parliament that Eagle Online spoke to said the shuffle was done after committee chairpersons complained about the clerks: Ms Esther Nadunga, Ms Ida Kusiima, Gilbert Aineomugisha and Justus Karyaijah.
“Although shuffling of committee clerks happens all the time especially in a new Parliament session, three of our colleagues had particular complaints against them,” the source said.
Ms Nadunga, the source said, was moved from Government Assurance to Human Rights Committee over complaints about her ‘working methods’.
Ms Nadunga couldn’t comment via a phone interview saying, “may be you just have to come to Parliament and you tell me physically the basis of your information because I have never heard of such complaints personally.”.
Poor working method was the same accusation against Ms Ida Kusiima who has been moved from Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to the Committee of Business/Rules, Privileges and Discipline.
The source said Ms Kusiima was earmarked by the committee membership as ‘very argumentative and disorganized’.
When contacted, Ms Kusiima said: “That is not correct. I cannot comment on that really. The best-placed person is the Clerk to Parliament. Please speak to her and she will explain anything you want clarified,” she said.
Mr Gilbert Ainomugisha was moved from Health to Presidential Affairs over insubordination, the source added.
“He went on a 21 day trip without the permission of his Chairperson a thing that stalled committee business. He couldn’t miss the 21 days per diem,” the source said.
When contacted, Mr Ainomugisha denied having been moved because of being AWOL.
“I would not say that was the reason I was moved. I did travel with PAC and it was not a 21 day trip and it was without permission. Plus that is not a reason sufficient enough to move a clerk from a committee. It was just about time,” he said.
Mr Justus Karyaijah, the source said, consistently let the tipple get the better part of him, the reason he was moved from Presidential Affairs to Government Assurances.
Mr Karyaijah’s known phone number was off when we tried to reach him for a comment.
Others affected in the shuffle but not for similar reasons are: Mr Leonard Okema who was moved from Equal Opportunities to Physical Infrastructure, Mr Max Komakech who was moved from Physical Infrastructure to Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Ms Diana Amero is now in ICT to replace Mr John Sentumbwe, who has since moved to Health.
Parliament Communications and Public Affairs Director, Chris Obore, said that although changes in service are normal, it is a message to Clerks that it is no longer business as usual.
“The Speaker announced that she needs key committee s to perform and promised to crack the whip on any committee which is not performing. She also tasked the Clerk to ensure that technical staff are up to task,” he said.
He added: “These changes are to ensure that committees function well. The overall motive is that every committee has been tasked by the Speaker to show results. Without results it is no longer business as usual. We want reports tabled in the House and committee clerks are very significant in that.”