Rift in workers union takes new twist


Wrangles over management of Uganda Medical Workers Union (UMWU) have taken a new twist with the director of labour in the ministry of Gender, Mr Martin Wandera, confirming new leaders of the union excluding the Workers MP, Dr Sam Lyomoki.

In a March 31 letter, signed by Mr Wandera and addressed to the UMWU acting general secretary, Mr Aggrey Sanya, a team of 18 people led by the national chairman, Mr Charles Wedunga, were endorsed.

“Reference is made to your earlier letter dated March 28, 2017 notifying us of the change of officers and trustees in your union that was effected by the extra-ordinary delegate’s conference sitting on the March 25, 2017. This is, therefore, to inform you that pursuant to section 42 (3) of the Labour Unions Act 2006, the following have been registered as officials of the UMWU,” the letter reads in part.

The letter identified the committee members as: National chairman Charles Wedunga, vice national chairman Amos Obote, general secretary Aggrey Sanya, deputy general secretary Paul Wesonga and national treasurer Milly Nakayita.

Others are Milinton Asire, Rose Katayebwa, Vectorine Okello, Sabastine Acia, Lovisa Gosa, Florence Nanyonga and Paul Musinguzi. Also on the committee are Obata Millington, Anthony Obata, John Owobuhobozi, Patrick Kyahurwa, Denis Okir and Geoffrey Muhimbura.

When contacted, Workers MP Sam Lyomoki said his sacking was a small matter. “It even makes me stronger because I am going to concentrate on COFTU (Central Organisations of Free Trade Unions) where I am the secretary general. I am concentrating on issues affecting the labour unions at the national level,” he said.

He added: “I cannot be thrown out of Parliament by those manipulators who are self-seekers and do not have support.”
“It’s unfortunate that some trade union leaders have failed to appreciate the need for unity, solidarity and recognition of everyone’s contribution but instead are overwhelmed by a selfish motivation for posturing, blackmail and intrigue,” he further explained.

UMWU, previously affiliated to COFTU crossed to the National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU), a rival affiliate. The two umbrella trade union organisations have been up in conflict, with NOTU claiming to have grabbed most trade unions from COFTU.

Mr Wilson Owere, the chairman general of NOTU, is spearheading a campaign to uproot his rival Dr Lyomoki of COFTU, who is accused of confusing the labour movement.

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