By Max Patrick Ocaido
A group of youths from Teso sub region are protesting what they claim was unfair dismissal of Parliament Director Communication and Public Affairs, Chris Obore.
Obore was sent on ‘forced leave’ in September last year. Angered by the dismissal, the youth mainly hailing from Kachumbala County in Bukedea, Obore’s home district on Tuesday stormed the office of the Chairperson Teso Parliamentary Forum (TPF) Patrick Okabe (Serere County MP) demanding answers on why their own was sacked.
Led by a one Diana Esele and Jonathan Musoke Oumo, the youth tasked MP Okabe to explain what the Teso Parliamentary Group has done to address Obore’s plight. Kampala Post understands that the youth are set to meet the legislator again today (Thursday) to conclude on the matter.
When contacted on phone, MP Okabe confirmed meeting the youth from Bukedea. He added however, that he advised the group to follow proper procedure in following up the matter.
“I met them yesterday and in fact even today I am told they are meant to return here. But all in all, I told them to follow the right procedures in addressing Obore’s issue. I advised them that much as we, Teso MPs are interested to know what happened to Obore, it is important that the youth first go through their area MPs then the area MPs bring the matter to us for support. It is from there that we can sit as MPs of Teso Parliamentary Forum to discuss a way forward,” Okabe said.
“The youth wanted to know why Obore has been ‘fired’ and whether his sacking is tribal and why Teso MPs are silent about it. I told them I also don’t know because I have not discussed the matter with the Speaker or even the Clerk to Parliament,” he added.
Okabe meanwhile discouraged the youth from engaging in protests saying their grievances can be handled diplomatically. “There is no need for them to demonstrate because if they do so then even us (MPs) who are trying to use diplomacy will just keep quiet. Let us use diplomacy first then if it fails then we use other means,” he said. This was after it emerged that the youths planned to mobilize more of their colleagues from Teso region to protest around Namboole stadium, during the NRM national conference, in order to attract attention of the President. The NRM national conference begins this Saturday Jan 25.
Early last year, Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige ordered termination of Obore’s contract on grounds that his appointment as Parliament Director was illegal and done in contravention of the Parliamentary Service (Staff) Regulations, 2001. Obore later petitioned court which eventually issued an interim order in April 2019 halting his sacking until disposal of the main application.
However, the Clerk to Parliament in September proceeded to send Obore on forced ‘accumulated leave’ of over 120days, which are due this month. On the day of his ‘sacking’, the Sergeant-at-Arms changed all the lockers to his office door to denying him entry.