MITOOMA DISTRICT CHAIRMAN CENSURE: FOUR WITNESSES PIN KARYAIJA FOR HIRINNG PRIVATE DRIVER, DRIVING HIMSELF MOST TIMES
BY WILBER MUHWEZI
A three man tribunal set up by the minister of local government Col.Tom Butiime to investigate five allegations raised by mitooma district councilors with an aim of censuring their chairman Benon Karyaija kicked off yesterday at Lake View Hotel in Mbarara.
The tribunal led by Justice David Matovu with other two members Cherles Katarikawe a former commissioner in the ministry of local government and John Musende heard from four witnesses among whom the district speaker Enos Kyarisiima and chief petitioner Godwin Muzooro district councilor Mutara, Mitooma CAO Ogwanga Benard and Asiimwe Didas Mwesigwa district councilor Mitooma.The mitooma CAO Ogwanga told the tribunal that the driver the district chairman uses was not recruited by Mitooma district service commission. “When I was two weeks old in office, one District councilor for Kabira one Mucunguzi came to my office twice and told me that the district chairman Benon Karyaija is using a driver who is not a staff of the district” he told the tribunal.
“I told him to put it into writing but he couldnot” he added.
During district speaker’s time to give evidence, the issue came to light. Justice Matovu asked him [Kyarisiima] whether he knew the fake driver , Kyarisiima pointed at David Orikiriza in the audience and told the tribunal that its was non other than him.
Justice Matovu ordered Orikiriza David out of the tribunal and promised to call him as a witness to tell the tribunal how he got the job and how many times he has caused accidents to the district district chairman’s vehicle.
Speaker Kyarisiima told the tribunal that when Daudi Orikiriza is not driving the Chairman Karyaija drives himself whether weekend or working hours.
According to rules that govern local governments and public service a government official is not supposed to drive himself/herself in a government car.
The driver that drives a government car must be a government worker, interviewed by the district service commission for districts or public service commission for ministries.
Kyarisiima who has been a district councilor since 1998, presented to the tribunal 31 letters of evidence where chairman Karyaija erred. The letters of evidence date back in 2012 to 2016.
When Mitooma was granted a district status on july 1, 2010, Karyaija became acting chairman later substantive district chairman.
WARS WITH CAO AND OTHER TECHNICAL STAFF
Karyaija started an open war with the CAO Ms Alice Asiimwe Rushure and the fight spread to staff. For that matter therefore all the letters that staff wrote against Karyaija on his conduct driving the official car at night and drunk, how much money was spent in total to service the district chairman’s can within five years whereas that of the CAO which was bought on the same day was very okay.
WHO ARE THE LAWYERS IN THIS CASE
Karyaijaja is represented by senior lawyer Alexander Kibandama born in Bitereko sub-county but practicing in Kampala. He laboured throughout the day to challenge the evidence presented by the four witnesses. The person who was too hard to cross-examine was speaker Kyarisiima. Counsel Kibandama could ask him question[Kyarisiima] and he would also ask Kibandama in turn before an answer is secured. Kyarisiima would be asked to read sections in rules of procedure books and refuse and instead tell counsel Kibandama to read it. The tribunal was made to tell Kyarisiima to follow rules of court and tribunal.
WHO REPRESENTS PETITIONERS
The petitioners [ 16 councilors] are represented by a government lawyer Nashiero Mwanda Robert Ekirita—leader counsel and is assisted by Edgar Kakuru of Owen Murangira and company advocates.
The case continues today with more witnesses from councilors, principal personnel officer, principal internal Auditor all from mitooma district among others