Magyezi Orders Mukono Chairperson to Constitute District Service Commission

Local Government Minister, Raphael Magyezi has directed Mukono District LC V Chairperson, Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa to constitute a District Service Commission-DSC before February 28 as guided by the Public Service Commission-PSC or face sanctions.

On January 19, 2023, Winnie Agnes Kabogoza Musoke, the PSC Chairperson wrote instructing Bakaluba and Mukono district council to adhere to the procedure of constituting the DSC to avoid unnecessary costly court cases for the government.

It came after Mukono district council approved and sent the names of four nominees to PSC in May last year for approval, ignoring Stella Margret Kiondo, the former Mukono DSC chairperson who had been elected as the representative of the urban council executive. 

Bakaluba informed the council that Kiondo needed further scrutiny following the several petitions of corruption and bribery filed against her by residents who once applied for jobs in the district. Those approved are Arthur Brick Mugerwa, Badru Ssemakula, Lydia Nakachwa, and Dr. Godfrey Kibuuka Kisuule.

Bakaluba asked the council to consider Dr. Godfrey Kibuuka Kisuule as the new chairperson, saying there was no need to waste time on people with tainted names, yet the district has several people who are straight and have integrity. He also asked the council to pass a resolution requesting urban council authorities to send another nominee for approval.

Despite the council resolution, urban council authorities declined to send a new nominee compelling the district executive to nominate Sarah Katumba, a retired midwife to represent them. The executive presented her name before the district council in December last year, which approved it.

However, the PSC notes that the action by the district executive to nominate Katumba is contrary to the provision of section 54 (2c) of the local government act and guidance of the solicitor general making it unlawful. PSC notes that the solicitor general guided the local council on July 6, 2017, on the nomination of urban authority representatives, saying it is a preserve of the executive committees of the urban councils.

“Urban authorities had rightly conducted the exercise and sent the name of Stella Margret Kiondo. The role of the district executive was simply to present it before the district council for consideration. …your submission for approval of Dr. Kissule and Sarah Katumba as representative for urban authorities was not considered by the commission until the leadership of Mukono adheres to the law,” PSC indicated in the letter to Bakaluba.   

Now, Magyezi faults Bakaluba and his council for failure to constitute a functional district service commission, saying it is a de-service to the people of Mukono, which the ministry will not tolerate. “Please note that under the local government act 54 (2c) I am required to enforce compliance of the district local government with them accordingly, you should submit all the nominated members before the district council for approval, without further hesitation. Failure to do so by February 28, will attract stringent measures against you by the government,” Magyezi noted in his February 14th, 2023 letter to Bakaluba.

However, the chairperson is not moved with the directive from the minister and advice from the PSC. He notes that their intention is maintaining a corrupt official in the office, which he is not ready to allow. He wonders how the public service recommended the approval of Stella Kiondo despite providing written bribery complaints leveled against her by the residents.

Robert Mwesigwa SSentongo, the Mukono Deputy Speaker says the public service commission referred to the solicitor general’s guidance given way back in 2017 before amendments were done to the local government act. “In the interest of protecting the law, the council intends to write to the current solicitor general for a proper definition of sections in question specifically to define what qualifies to be an urban authority in the local governments act,” he said.

URN has established that inspectors from the ministry of local government intend to visit Mukono district on March 1, 2023, to follow up on the directive issued by the minister.  It has been further established from the office of the speaker that the district also intends to seat on March 2 to discuss the directive among other issues.

Mukono Resident District Commissioner-RDC Fatumah Ndisaba has appealed to the Local Government Ministry and PSC to engage the district administration and come up with a lasting resolution about the matter. According to her, the district has not had a service commission for almost two years, which has affected several departments that are struggling with inadequate staff. In the financial year 2021/2022, Mukono district returned Shillings 1.2 billion meant for staff recruitment to the consolidated funds.

Mubarak Ssekikubo, a resident at Nakisunga, says that for the good of the district, the chairperson should consider presenting the name given to him by the minister before the council for approval or rejection.                               

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