Amolator district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Pius Epaju is in trouble with the Inspector General of Government and the Ministry of Public Service.
This follows an arbitrary transfer he caused on Peter Emmanuel Ogwayo, the Town Clerk of Namasale Town council.
On 8t January 2018, the CAO transferred Mr. Ogwayo to the newly created town council of Etam, but unfortunately the town council which was among those approved by government in the financial year 2017/2018 was not yet operational .
After realizing that the position of a Town Clerk does not exist at his new duty station where he was posted, Ogwayo appealed to both the office of the Inspector General of Government and that of the Public Service alleging that the CAO had acted in bad faith to transfer him to a non-existing town council.
Ogwayo further accused Mr. Epaju of acting on rumors and influence of some five councilors of Namasale Town Council
“I am diabetic, I survive on insulin which must be kept in a deep freezer and Etam where I have been transferred does not have power to help me preserve insulin. This will affect my health,” Ogwayu’s letter to the Ministry of Public Service and IGG reads in part.
IGG orders CAO
In a letter dated 20 April this year and signed by George Bamugemererire, the deputy Inspector General of government, Pius Epaju, the Amolatar district CAO was directed to stay the transfer of Emmanuel Ogwayo until the matter is fully investigated.
“The transfer of Mr. Peter Emmanuel Ogwayu from Namasale Town Council to Etam Town Council contravened Guideline 2 of the Guidelines for the Establishment of the newly created Towns issued on 5th October 2017 by Hon. Tom Butime, the minister of Local government,” reads Bamugemreire’s letter in part
According to Bamugemereire, recruitment of critical staff for the new Town Councils to start work would only occur after the wage bill is secured.
TND News understands that Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury had reiterated the same according to his letter authored on 30 November 2017 to all the Accounting Officers of local government units.
In a related development, Dr. John Geoffrey Mbabazi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Public Service in his 9 May letter directed that; “the Chief Administrative Officer Amolatar be advised to stay the transfer of Mr.Ogwayo Emmanuel Peter to Etam Town Council.”
Mr. Mbabazi also directed that the matter be referred to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local Government, warning that the transfer was punitive since Etam had not become operational.
Speaking to TND News in an interview, Emmanuel Ogwayo said he was optimistic that the accounting officer would reinstate him back to his old duty station.
Embattled CAO could not be reached for comments by press time despite repeated attempts.
Some of the local political leaders in Amolatar told TND News that they fear the district could plunge into a colossal financial loss if the CAO does not rescind his decision and Ogwayu go on to institute a civil suit against Amolatar district.
This is not the first time an erroneous transfer of a civil servant is putting local government at a tight spot.
Like Amolatar district now, her sisters Apac and Oyam district local governments have been victims in the past.
Although a formal hand over of office by Emmanuel Ogwayo, the ‘outgoing
Town Clerk’ to Peter Okello Epilla, the principal Commercial Officer also the incoming Caretaker Town Clerk had not taken
Place, the CAO caused change of signatories to all Bank accounts in DFCU
Bank Lira branch from Peter Emmanuel Ogwayo to Peter Okello Epilla as
Etam Town Council in Amolatar district local government was established by the government of Uganda (Parliament) under Statutory Instrument Supplement No. 26 on 22 September 2017 unfortunately it did not secure Wage Bill for the financial year 2017/2018.
Additional reporting by Immaculate Amony