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Wafula Oguttu: Chris Obore was Properly Recruited

Former Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Wafula Oguttu has warned the August House could “pay dearly” if it goes ahead to sack Communications Director, Chris Obore.

Parliament clerk, Jane Kibirige wrote to Obore on March 18, 2019 informing him of the report from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) titled “findings on systematic investigation into the process of appointments of the Director, Communication and Public Affairs by the Parliamentary Commission.”

The report said the recruitment of the director communication and public affairs was founded on an illegality as it was in contravention of the Parliamentary Service (Staff) Regulations, 2001.

Oguttu, who sat on the Committee that recruited Obore, said Parliament followed the due process of the law.

“He was properly recruited after interview by the Parliamentary Commission,” recounted Oguttu on Thursday.

“There were two candidates for the final interview. I was on the panel. He got his job on merit. His long experience and performance at the interview secured him the job,” he added.

Obore this Monday petitioned Kampala High Court to restrain “the commission, its agents or servants from implementing the decision of the clerk of parliament, Jane Kibirige, to terminate my employment in the parliamentary service, pending determination of the main case.”

Represented by Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), Obore asked court asked for an interim injunction restraining the commission, its agents or servants from implementing the decision of the clerk of Parliament, to terminate my employment in the parliamentary service, pending determination of the main case.

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He said his main suit discloses important issues relating to the legality and propriety of the impugned decision, which matter has high chances of success.

“There is an imminent threat of the respondent implementing the impugned decision to my detriment. Unless the commission is restrained from implementing the directive, the applications shall be rendered nugatory,” he said.

Obore further said the balance of convenience favours him as he is currently lawfully employed in the said position and stands to lose more if the commission is permitted to implement the directive.

The former Daily Monitor journalist also said it was in the interest of justice, fostering good governance and respect for the rule of law that all reliefs sought by him be granted.

What happened?

Obore has been in the said position since August 2015.

He said in May 2015, he received a letter informing him that Parliamentary Service Commission had expressed interest in filling the said position and he was identified as one of the potential candidates, before sitting for interviews over the same.

Subsequently, Obore received a letter dated August 19, 2015, from the office of the clerk to parliament, informing him that he had been offered an appointment on probation.

Upon successful completion of his probation, he was confirmed in the stated position.

“I had never been accorded right to defend myself before the commission or any other relevant body,” he said.

In his affidavit, Obore said his lawyers have advised him that the clerk of parliament made the decision in excess of her powers and that the impugned decision is illegal and irregular.

Obore said he would suffer irreparable damage if the decision of the commission was not halted.

Oguttu said in Facebook post that Obore “has no case to answer regarding his recruitment. Maybe office politics. He will win the case and Parliament will pay dearly.”

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