Parliament Technical Staff Questioned on Obore's Termination

1622 Views Kampala, Uganda
Parliament's sub-committee on human resource has questioned the manner in which the contract of Parliament's Director of Communications and Cooperate Affairs Chris Obore was terminated.  

Obore's contract was terminated last week by the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige who said that his appointment was based on an illegality.

 Obore was recruited through a head hunt for the position at Parliament, where he competed with Charles Mwanguhya Mpagi, the East African News Paper Bureau Chief. Parliament had advertised for the Position but reportedly did not get suitable candidates even after 20 People applied.    

It then went for the head hunt, where former Member of Parliament Onapito Ekomoloit, East African Bureau Chief Charles Mwanguhya Mpagi, Daniel Kalinaki, and then Daily Monitor Investigations Editor Chris Obore as potential candidates for the job. However, on adoption of this report by the Parliamentary Commission, Dr Peter G. Mwesige, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Media Excellence was suggested and added to the list.  

URN has learnt the sub-committee comprised of four Parliamentary Commissioners who include Usuk MP Peter Ogwang, Kakumiro Woman MP Robinah Nabbanja, Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal and Arinaitwe Rwakajara, the Workers MP on Tuesday held a lengthy meeting with Parliament 's Human resource director, legal directorate and office of the clerk over Obore's termination.

A source who attended the meeting but preferred anonymity says the meeting was called following questions by MPs on the legal committee who last week asked the Parliamentary commissioners to clarify on the Obore's termination.

The committee reportedly questioned the Legal Director of Parliament Pius Biribonoha on whether he had seen the letter, and whether he advised Parliament on the implication of the letter written to Obore, and whether he had advised Parliament against the recruitment process of Obore.

Biribonoha reportedly told the committee that the letter was not terminating Obore's contract but Obore rushed to court.

Biribonoha however told the committee that he was not the author of the letter. The committee asked the Legal Director to provide evidence that he had advised Parliament.

"If you believed that Obore was recruited illegally, did you give advice accordingly to Parliament and the commission on this" a commissioner asked Biribonoha,

The committee asked the technical staff of Parliament to always give professional advice to Parliament and not base on malice.

URN has learnt that the subcommittee on human resource is to interact with the clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige who is away on official duties.

Other directors of Parliament, for Human Resource and Deputy Clerk, said they did not know anything about the letter terminating Obore. The clerk to parliament Kibirige was represented in the meeting by her deputy Henry Wasswa, and Director Human Resource Komakech Jackson.    

Rwakajara confirmed the meeting took place and the commissioners were interested in knowing the details of how the decision to sack Obore was reached since at the commission did not sit.
"It is true we had a meeting, but we were getting a brief on the Inspectorate of Government's letter on Obore, but also the letter that the Clerk to Parliament wrote to Chris Obore", Rwakajara says.



About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.