I Am Still NOTU Chairperson-Owere

Usher Wilson Owere has described as illegal a meeting convened by some of the members of the National Organization of Trade Unions-NOTU in which he was allegedly replaced as the chairperson. Speaking to Uganda Radio Network, Owere maintained that he is still the legally recognized chairperson of NOTU.

“What they have done is illegality and the people should know that the status quo still stands. I’m the chairperson of NOTU and whoever wants to replace me should use legal means. That purported delegates’ conference is illegal because Mugole is trying to run away from accountability. But this will not stop us from demanding for accountability from him,” Owere said. 

In a meeting held at Hotel Africana by a cross-section of Notu members, David Stephen Mugole, who is also a Member of Parliament for Kabweri County was elected as the Acting Chairperson while Peter Werikhe Christopher who is also the MP for Bubulo East stepped aside as the Secretary-General in favor of Richard Nigeria. 

Others also voted include Moses Mauku as Treasurer General with Barbara Bandaru as his deputy. The meeting, which is said to have been attended by 24 Labour Unions out of 34 that have a membership with NOTU, accused Owere of inefficiency, dictatorship, sabotage, and mismanaging the workers’ federation. 

However, in the interview, Owere said those accusing him of wrongdoing are using it as a scapegoat to sow disharmony in the labor organization. 

“They have tried everything to undermine the organization including running to the minister to try and circumvent our calls for accountability but I can assure them we will not stop demanding for it. By the way, even some of those people who say have been elected have not been members of Notu; they ran away from Coftu and are trying to cause confusion,” Owere said. 

For weeks now, there has been feuding in Notu with some members accusing the leadership of Owere of financial mismanagement and turning the organization into an entity they use for private gain. The dissatisfied members also accused the Owere-led management of involving the organization in partisan politics which they said is detrimental to the causes for which it was started.  

Efforts to speak to Mugole were futile as he neither picked up nor returned our calls to his known telephone number by the time of publishing this story. Owere has been at the helm of Notu since 2008 when he was elected as the chairperson.

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