Bushenyi- Mitooma District chairman, Mr Benon Karyaija Boneza has been removed from office by councillors who accused him of abused of office and disrespecting local leaders.
Mr Karyaija was plucked out of office on Monday following a special district council sitting at the district headquarters in Mitooma. The meeting was chaired by Bushenyi Chief Magistrate, Mr Gabriel Angulia under the instruction of the Local Government Minister Tom Butime.
During the meeting, Mr Angulia told councillors that he had been sent by the minister to preside over a special council meeting during which councillors would determine Mr Karyaija’s fate, following a tribunal report.
The tribunal was set up by the minster of Local Government upon a petition by about 17 district councillors in October 2016. They accused Mr Karyaija of failing to do his work and to implement council resolutions.
They further accused Mr Karyaija of hiring a driver without approval of the District Service Commission and selling mined earth at Rukukuru Prison whose proceeds were not declared to the district finance office.
Mr Angulia told councillors that following their petition, the minister constituted a tribunal led by Justice David Matovu.
After receiving the tribunal’s report, Mr Mwesige asked the councillors to make the final decision.
The Monday meeting was attended by 21councillors. Mr Karyaija missed the meeting without explanation, according to the district speaker Mr Enos Kyarisima.
“I have no apology from anybody. I instructed the clerk to inform all members of the Council and Mr Karyaija but he has not attended. We don’t have his apologies,” said Mr Kyarisiima.
The motion to censure Mr Karyaija was moved by Mr Godwin Muzoora, the councillor for Mutara Sub-county and seconded by Mr Francis Asiimwe who represents Katenga Sub-county.
“I second the motion saying it be resolved by Mitooma district local government council that Mr Benon Karyaija be and is hereby removed from office in accordance to article 185 Section 4 sub section 6 of the Local government Act and that this takes immediate effect. His vice takes over and he is directed to hand over property in his custody to the CAO,” Mr Asiimwe said.
The censure vote was by secret ballot and 20 councillors voted for removal of Mr Karyaija. One vote was invalid.
Bitereko Sub-county councillor in the district council Mr Charles Barigye, however, said removing Mr Karyaija would not solve Mitooma’s problems.
“These issues needed dialogue, not removing the chairman from office. I would say relevant offices failed, not Karyaija as a person. Some relevant offices didn’t act procedurally to save him,” Mr Barigye said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mr Karyaija hit a dead end as his mobile phone was switched off.