Parliament of Uganda has been placed between a rock and hard place as far as the case involving Mr Chris Obore and the report of Inspector General of Government’s report is concerned.
The IGG in her report dated January 16,2016, titled irregular recruitment of the director communication and public affairs by the parliamentary commission which among others recommended that parliamentary commission to look into his employment contract.
However, on March 7, 2017, parliament replied the IGG stating the sequence of proceedings and decisions by the parliamentary commission indicating that the recruitment of Mr. Obore was legal and therefore, he merited the job. However, a whistleblower believed to be a member of staff at parliament is believed to be behind the woes of Mr. Obore.
Eagle Online has however, obtained a chronology of events that proceeded before and after Obore was recruited.
On February 5, 2015, a meeting was held to receive a report of short listing for the post of director communications and public affairs at the office of the director human resource at parliament.
The above meeting was as a result of a parliamentary commission external advertisement inviting applications to fill the vacant position of director communication and public affaisr in the parliamentary service.
The criteria for assessing the applicants for short-list were based on the parliamentary commission. The short listing panel assessed the applicants considering the areas as spelt out in the guidelines.
The scoring was out of 35 marks and the candidates who scored a minimum mark of 33 and above were legible for shortlist as per the shortlisting guidelines. The panel was composed of:
Okello G. Obabaru-Deputy Clerk, Corporate affairs-Chairman
Dison B. Okumu-Director, corporate planning and strategy-Member
Bernard Nangoli-Principal HRO-Secretary to the panel.
And as the result, 20 applicants submitted their applications.
Gibert Kadilo ,Bernard Eceru, Jimmy Otim, Denis Natukunda Kabunga, Emmanuel Eka, Cyirus Muti, Atibuni Kefa
Peter Okello Jabweli, Simon Peter Kasyate Turahikayo, Aloysius Louis Mubiru K, Isaac Kalembe, Naomi Namara Karekaho, Godwin Bonge Muhwezi, Anita Nshakira, Wilson JananAkwong, Elvis Kalema, Reuben Twinomujuni, Simon Katende, John Julius Wandera and Michael Otai Ocilaje.
On February 9, a validation report for the post of the director communication and public affairs was held and the panel was composed of the following members:
Mr. Paul Wabwire, Deputy Clerk, parliamentary affair-chairperson
Mr. Innocent Rugabwa, Director, Library Services-member
Mr. Charles Kizza Luwanga, Assistant Director, Human Resource-Human Resource representative/Secretary.
Above panel validated the applicants above and found out that none of them met the credentials above. And therefore, the parliamentary commission sub-commission on human resource and administration recommended the head hunt recruitment for the post of director communication and public affairs.
Subsequently on March 23, 2015, the 4th meeting of the sub-committee on human resource and administration was on in room 521 North Wing of parliament at 12.45 pm and members present were: Mr. William Wilson Nokrach –chairperson, Ms Rosemary Sseninde –Mmeber and Ms Rose Akol Okullu-Member.
Others in attendance were Jane L. Kibirige- Clerk to Parliament, Okeelo G. Obabaru-Deputy Clerk, Corporate Affairs, Dison Okumu, caretaker, HR department, Benson Masereka Onzi, Secretariat/minute secretary and absent with apology was Ronald Reagan Okumu.
The clerk requested the caretaker HR department to brief the meeting, the caretaker informed the meeting that 20 candidates applied for the position of director CPA but none qualified for shortlisting.
Then after, the above meeting resolved that for director CPA, the parliamentary commission should undertake a head-hunt taking into account the procurement guidelines. The following names were proposed for consideration.
The meeting also resolved that members should continue to consult and think of other names.
According to minute extract of min. 40/2015 15 on presentation, consideration and adoption of the report of the sub-committee on human resource at the 41st parliamentary commission meeting held on April 17, 2015, in the Speaker’s board room, at 10 am where members’ presents were:
Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker/chairperson
Jacob Oulanyah Deputy Speaker,
Gen. Moses Ali, representing PM/leader of government business
Roland Mugume representing Leader of Opposition in parliament
Rosemary Sseninde, parliamentary commissioner
William Wilson Nokrach, parliamentary commissioner
Ronald Reagan Okumu , parliamentary commissioner
Rose Akol Okullu, parliamentary commissioner
Those in attendance
Jane L. Kibirige-Clerk to parliament
Paul G. Wabwire Deputy Clerk, corporate affairs
Benson Onzi Masereka Assistant Director/Minute secretary while Fred Jachan Omach was absent with apology.
The above meeting observed that the recruitment of director CPA, the meeting requested the backbench commissioners and clerk to interact with the proposed individuals who include:
Dr. Peter Mwesige
The committee further said that any of the above can take up the job or at least advise on other possible candidates.
Basing on the recommendation for backbench commissioners to interact with the above proposed names, subsequently, on May 20, 2015, Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige wrote to them inviting them for an interface with the parliamentary commission.
“The Parliamentary Commission expressed interest in filling the position of Director Communication and Public Affais and placed adverts in the newspapers.
You have been identified as one of those persons whom the Parliamentary Commission seeks to interact with. You are therefore invited to interface with the commissioners on Thursday May 21, 2015 at 10 am at the Speaker’s board room 5th floor North Wing” reads one of the letter that was sent to all those identified by the commission.
In the subsequent meeting, the commission was informed that all the above identified persons where contacted and interested with but only two of them, namely Charles Mwanguhya and Chris Obore expressed interest in the position.
A parliamentary Commission interview panel was formed and was comprised of:
William Wison Nokrach –chairman
Rose Akol Okullu-member
Jane Kibirige/clerk to parliament-member
Henry Rugamba-president PRAU-member
Dison B. Okumu-caretaker HR department-member.
Two candidates, Chris Obore and Charles Mwanguhya were interviewed by the panel on behalf of the committee with Obore scoring 77.86 while Mwanguhya scored 67.00.
According to the recommendation sheet which Eagle Online has obtained, “The committee noted that both candidates scored above the pass mark of 60 per cent and therefore qualifies for the job. However, based on the ranking of the scores, the committee hereby recommends to the parliamentary commission that Mr. Chris Obore Ariko, who is ranked first should be offered appointment to the post of director CPA in the parliamentary service with effect from date of assumption of duty” reads scorecard.
The commission also noted that Ms Helen Nanteza Kawesa had been recommended as a suitable candidate for appointment to the post of director CPA but the meeting observed that Ms Kawes’s performance had generally been wanting as she failed to defend and promote the image of the institution of parliament.
“It was noted that her performance has been characterized by; lack of pro activity, lack of assertiveness to manage staff to fulfill the division’s goals and lack of appreciation of financial management procedures and processes. The meeting therefore rejected the recommendation for promotion of Ms Kawesa”.
The department of CPA was established in the parliamentary service during the restructuring exercise of 2012 and since then the process had been ongoing to recruit the director.
Basing on the above, Obore, has sued the commission of the house seeking to stop his termination.
Obore ran to court on Monday following threats to sack him from his position by the Clerk of Parliament, Jane Kibirige in a letter dated March 5, 2019.
He sued the Parliamentary Commission over the incident at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala through Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA). Obore has asked the court to compel the commission to pay him costs of the suit.
“I seek an interim injunction restraining the commission, its agents or servants from implementing the decision of the clerk of parliament, to terminate my employment in the parliamentary service, pending determination of the main case,” Obore asks the court.
He says the main suit discloses important issues relating to the legality and propriety of the impugned decision, which matter has high chances of success.
“There is an imminent threat of the respondent implementing the impugned decision to my detriment. Unless the commission is restrained from implementing the directive, the applications shall be rendered nugatory,” he contends.
Obore added, “The balance of convenience favours me, who is currently lawfully employed in the said position and stands to lose more if the commission is permitted to implement the directive.”
He narrates that in May 2015, he received a letter informing him that Parliamentary Service Commission had expressed interest in filling the said position and he was identified as one of the potential candidates, before sitting for interviews over the same.
Obore says subsequently, he received a letter dated August 19, 2015, from the office of the clerk to parliament, informing him that he had been offered an appointment on probation.
Obore reveals that on March 18, 2019, he received a letter informing him of the report from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) titled “findings on systematic investigation into the process of appointments of the Director, Communication and Public Affairs by the Parliamentary Commission.”
However what makes this matter of interest is that the manner being questioned how Obore was recruited not forgetting that the Clerk to Parliament Ms Kibirige was as well recruited in a similar way.