Ajwang is still Gulu CAO, says Local Government PS

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GULU. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr Ben Kamumanya, has described the resolution by Gulu District Local Council to remove the chief administrative officer (CAO), Ms Dorothy Magoola Ajwang, as null and void.
Last week, councillors led by Mr Simon Peter Oola, the district vice chairperson, stormed the CAO’s office demanding that Ms Ajwang hands over official stamps, office keys and her official vehicle.
The other members of the district executive committee were Santa Oketa, (secretary Community Services), Rose Amono Abili, (secretary for Education and Health) and Patrick Kinyera (the secretary for Works and Technical services).

Ms Ajwang was rescued by the Gulu District police commander, Mr Martin Okoyo, after her office was locked.
In his a March 16 letter copied to Minister of Local Government, State minister for Local Government, Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Solicitor General and the Town Clerks among others, Mr Kamumanya noted that the resolution passed by Gulu District Council on March 1, 2017, is not in accordance with article 188 (2) and 200 (4) of the Constitution.
The article states that, ‘the powers to exercise disciplinary control over the CAOs in the service is vested in Public Service Commission but not with the district’.
Mr Kamumanya further explained in his letter that the application of the resolution of council was repealed and so it is no longer in use.

In the same vein, according to Mr Kamumanya, under section 11 (1)g, of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015, the powers to remove the accounting officers of Local Governments is vested in the Secretary to the Treasury.
Other laws, which bar the district council from exercising powers to remove the accounting officers are; Local Government Act cap 243 and Public Finance Management Act 2015.
“I wish to bring to your attention that the actions of the Gulu District Council of March 1, 2017 and the Gulu District executive committee were illegal and therefore null and void,” Mr Kamumanya said.
He added: “Furthermore, Ms Ajwang is still, until otherwise advised, the chief administrative officer and accounting officer of Gulu District and should therefore be allowed to execute her duties without any inconveniences.”

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