HomePOLITICSMbarara City interdicts three staff over office mismanagement and bribery.

Mbarara City interdicts three staff over office mismanagement and bribery.

Joshua Nahamya

Mbarara city council has interdicted three members of the service commission over corruption and office mismanagement.

According to Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the three were arrested in 2023 following the alleged corruption in exchange for giving jobs.

These include; Edward Karugaba Kikaraya (chairperson), Hajj Lubega M. Kazooba, and Benjamin Kahigiriza.

Kakyebezi said that the trio committed the offenses between January and April 2023, shortly after Mbarara City Council advertised various positions, including that of the city chief finance officer, city planner, natural resources and environment officer, physical planner, commercial officer, and principal internal auditor.

The recruitment process was halted by city authorities after allegations of bribery surfaced. In April, the Equal Opportunities Commission also wrote to Mbarara City authorities advising them to pause the process and investigate Karugaba and other commissioners accused of collaborating to extort money from desperate candidates by promising them employment opportunities.

The duo were aligned in courts of law and later granted bail but they are still under trial.

Under the guidance of the Public Service Commission and the crisis of understanding in the city, Kakyebezi asked the councilors on Thursday during a council meeting to terminate their contract.

Mbarara City Mayor, Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi in an exclusive interview. Joshua Nahamya

“Considering the guidance from the public service commission and crisis of understanding in the city, the executive committee recommends that the three members of the city service commission be interdicted until we get the outcome from the court trial,” he said

Kakyebezi also asked the councilors to permit the city leadership to hire the neighboring district service commission to fill the missing gap in the staff in the city.

“Members we have a very big challenge, we have been going to schools are crying, they don’t have teachers, the health centres don’t have health workers, even we have some of our staff who left that we need to replace so we are requesting for the services from our sister local government to handle the backlog at hand,” he said

However, John Kavigi, a councillor representing the youth warned councillors not to interdict the duo when the matter is still in court.

“Procedurally it is wrong to interdict these people when the matter is still in court, we may be challenged so I am of the view that let’s wait for the final verdict before making errors that may cost us thus causing financial loss to the taxpayers’ money,” Kavigi said

The speaker, Bonny Tashobya put the matter to a vote and the councillors anonymously supported the interdiction of the three members of the service commission.

“You are the appointing and the disappointing authority and for us we are not removing them from office, we are saying let them step aside for investigations and if court finds they are criminals, we shall remove them and if proven innocent they will be reinstated but that does not stop us from recruiting new staff like finance, physical planner, engineer, beautification officer among others” Tashobya explained

Councillors also recommended the hiring of the Ibanda District Service Commission to handle the backlog of staff in the city as the duo waits for the verdict.

Meanwhile, the resident city commissioner Lt Col James Mwesigye thanked city leaders for condemning corruption.

“Am now happy that you have started biting and identifying where corruption is but I was also scared when I saw some people wanting to condone wrong people but at least the majority ruled” Mwesigye said

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