RDC UNEARTHS ROT IN BUGWERI
By Mulengera Reporter
Days after Bugweri District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Hosea Jonathan Mukose dismissed claims of gross incompetence and corruption, RDC Gad Rugaju has laid bare the dirt he claims the accounting officer has been involved in for years.
In an interview with this publication on Tuesday, Mukose wondered what accountability-related information RDC Rugaju had gathered in less than one month of being in charge of Bugweri which he only visited recently to attend a Covid19 management-related meeting. (See: RDC RUGAJU BATTLES BUGWERI CAO SAYING HE IS RUINING DISTRICT). But Rugaju has given an account of Mukose’s ‘sins,’ for which he and other leaders want him punished severely and transferred from the new district and replaced with a substantive, capable and honest accounting officer.
Rugaju accuses Mukose of refusal to hand over district vehicles to the health officer, failure to account for Shs165m given to each district for Covid activities, and defying presidential directives on the prevention of Covid19 by holding political without consulting the head of district taskforce (RDC )and his security team. The president’s representative in the district further claims the accounting officer despises him to the extent of refusing to invite him to the launch of district projects; is not a team builder, is unapproachable and has individualised the CAO office to the extent that when he is absent, most of the work stalls, since he had refused to have an assistant.
He further claims that Mukose’s alleged ‘concubine’ named Judith Nalumansi who is the director of Mukono Life Care Coalition Community Centre, a government property, denied the Covid19 taskforce access to the facility which they had planned to turn into an isolation centre.
The RDC also accuses the CAO of irregularities in the handling of appointments in the district. He is, for example, accused of appointing a ghost as a district health officer. Available records show that the district advertised one position and the District Service Commission appointed a one Shifa Nassuna but the CAO gave Nassuna’s appointment letter for the same job to a one Jackline Senabulya who has since started eating the money that should have been accessed by the person who qualified.
It is also alleged that Mukose and Nalumansi have influenced the hiring of most staff at district, favouring their relatives and former workers at Mukono District where Mukose was deputy CAO and Nalumansi a resident.
Mukose is also accused of mismanaging Bugweri Town Council’s wage structure and recruitment processes. For example, Mukose promoted Hellen Kauma to the post of Senior Assistant Town Clerk, scale U3, even when she had not yet served for three years in her appointment as Assistant Town Clerk, scale U4 as required by law, while Adolf Mukama was promoted to the post of Finance Officer scale U4 yet the position does not exist in the Town Council structure. Rugaju aso cites the appointment of Esther Kagoya, a parish chief, as Human Resource Officer after a substantive one was thrown out “under unclear circumstances.” Rugaju now wants “all irregular appointments rescinded by the District Service Commission.”
The RDC further accuses Mukose of failing to regularize the appointment of staff who started the District in the positions that they were seconded to serve by Iganga District Local Government. These include Mary Birete who had been seconded to serve as Principal Assistant Secretary but her name was left out for appointment.
“All staff who started the District should be given confirmed in the positions that they were seconded to serve if they qualify,” demanded Rugaju. “The CAO should have first regularized officers who qualify in their appointments before undertaking any recruitment in the district.”
Other appointees like Issah Magoola who was appointed to the position of Senior Planner in 2019 is yet to get onto the payroll and start earning the salary, prompting rumors that the CAO could already be pocketing the cash.
Also, many government workers in the district have complained that they haven’t been paid for months yet Mukose offers no explanation. These include teachers, health and district workers, and sub county leaders. Some people believe that the CAO may not only be chewing such monies but also irregularly benefiting from other officials accused of swindling funds whom he helps skip the long arm of the law. Mukose is accused of cover up and failure to act on audit reports to recover lost monies and crack the whip on corrupt officials. In any case, the RDC suggests that the CAO connives with other officials to embezzle funds and influence the award of contracts to benefit themselves, their relatives and friends.
“The CAO is alleged to bribe the DPC, O.C CID, O.C Station to prevent proper investigations in matters of Bugweri. The DPC can no longer take logical decisions, a case in point is when the District Covid19 District Taskforce and the District Security Committee asked him to remove fuel sniffers from Trailers that come from Kenya and people operating shops as per the Presidential directives but he refused to date,” Rugaju further claimed.
Mukose is also blamed for the district’s failure to utilise budgets, and for diverting funds. His critics cite the Shs440m FY2018/19 budget for the construction of an Administration block. Whereas the District Contracts Committee awarded a contract to M/S Birime Construction Company Limited and they entered an agreement with the District at the end of February, “to date, the building has not been constructed and the money has never been spent,” something Rugaju claims is a sign of Mukose’s incompetence.
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