Three interdicted in Mbarara City over corruption

MBARARA, February 28, 2024 – Councillors in Mbarara City recently interdicted three members of the City Service Commission over allegations of corruption and misuse of office.

According to city mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the said commissioners were first arrested last year for allegedly obtaining money by extortion as they embarked on the staff recruitment exercise.

The interdicted city commissioners include; Edward Karugaba Kikaraya [Chairperson], Lubega M. Kazooba, and Benjamin Kahigiriza.

The trio allegedly committed the offences between January and April 2023, shortly after the city advertised various positions: City Chief Finance Officer, City Planner, Natural Resources and Environment Officer, Physical Planner, Commercial Officer, and Principal Internal Auditor.

However, as the corruption allegations forced the city authorities to halt the staff recruitment process, the Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] in Kampala would also advise that Karugaba and other commissioners be investigated over the same allegations.

Meanwhile, under the guidance of the Public Service Commission in Kampala, Mayor Kakyebezi asked the councillors attending a council meeting last Thursday to terminate the contracts of commissioners.

“Considering the guidance from the Public Service Commission…the executive committee recommends that the three members of the City Service Commission be interdicted until we get the outcome from court since the accused are on trial,” he said.

He also asked Mbarara City councillors to endorse the hiring of a nearby district service commission to resume the staff recruitment process.

However during the meeting of councillors, John Kavigi, a councillor representing the youth in Mbarara City warned against  interdicting the officials, arguing the matter is before court.

“Procedurally it is wrong to interdict these people when the matter is still in court. We may be challenged so I am of the view that let’s wait for the final court verdict before making errors that could cost taxpayers the meagre resources,” Kavigi said.

However, as advised by Mayor Kakyebezi,  city councillors recommended hiring of Ibanda District Service Commission to resume the recruitment process.

Meanwhile, the Resident City Commissioner Lt Col. James Mwesigye thanked city leaders for condemning corruption.

“I am now happy that you have started biting and identifying where corruption is but I was also scared when I saw some people wanting to condone wrong people but at least the majority ruled,” Mwesigye said.

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