Service Delivery Crippled as Kitgum Town Council Accounts Suspended

2389 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
The accounts were suspended on Wednesday pending hand over of office by acting town clerk Michael Wokorach to the substantive town clerk Harriet Atim. Atim was named clerk by the office of Kitgum district Chief Administrative Officer to the town council.

The routine operations of Kitgum town council have been paralyzed by the suspension of all council financial accounts in Stanbic and DFCU banks in the districts.
 
The accounts were suspended on Wednesday pending hand over of office by acting town clerk Michael Wokorach to the substantive town clerk Harriet Atim. Atim was named clerk by the office of Kitgum district Chief Administrative Officer to the town council.
 
But Richard Okwera Ojara, the Kitgum Town Council chairperson, claims that the accounts were frozen on orders of Rhoda Oroma, the Assistant Chief Administrative officer of Kitgum district because of political differences.  
 
Ojara says Oroma used her powers as acting Chief Administrative Officer to instruct the banks to immediately desist from transacting business with Michael Wokorach.
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But Rhoda Oroma says a new town clerk is deployed at the town council to enable the autonomous urban council run its own affairs, according to a 2011 directive by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of local government to all accounting officers.
 
Oroma says administrative decision has been taken to recall the acting town clerk, Michael Wokorach from the town council for immediate deployment at a sub county where his services are urgently required. She says Wokorach has been replaced by Harriet Atim, more senior personnel competent enough to handle town council affairs.
 
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Rhoda challenged the leadership of the Town council to substantiate the claims of frozen accounts with circulars informing them of the actions. She says her office followed all the legal requirements in effecting the changes of the town clerks.
 
An independent investigation by Uganda Radio Network has managed to establish that the accounts have indeed been temporarily suspended but not frozen. 

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.