Councillors at Mukono Central Division in Mukono Municipality have petitioned the town clerk, Godfrey Kisekka protesting his decision to reappoint the former principal assistant town clerk, Ismael Mulamuzi Ssemyalo without approval of the service commission.
Ssemyalo was interdicted by Kisekka in January this year on allegations of mismanaging collected revenue, failure to supervise division staff, improper collection of local revenue, diversion and misused funds.
The official came under spotlight causing audit queries against him at the time the municipal leadership decried difficulties in raising local revenue as well as funding the planned activities such as collecting garbage, constructing and maintaining roads using local revenue.
However, yesterday councillors received an official communication from the town clerk indicating changes within the municipal leadership as well as lifting a ban on the interdiction of Ssemyalo before reposting him at his former working station, the Central Division.
Councillors claim that the town clerk did not follow official channels of lifting the ban as well as appointing any interdicted public servant.
Allan Mawanda, the Division Speaker notes that the town clerk has never presented to them the defense filed against the audit report conducted against his assistant and the basis of lifting the ban.
“For the ten years he spent at the Central Division, our budget did not go beyond Shillings 1.5Billion but in just a period of one year during his absence, we have moved to 2Billion plus.” Mawanda notes.
Another Councillor, Nubuat Namukose accuses Ssemyalo for causing the disappearance of several important files regarding the construction of the division headquarters which has partially affected the construction works.
The Insight Post has established that the construction works started in July last year expected to be complete in a period of five years at a cost of 1.8 billion Shillings, funded on a quarterly basis through collected local revenue. The contract was awarded to Joff Constructions Limited.
However, in March the division councilors passed a resolution halting the construction claiming that they lack a simple document about the project as well as its plan making it hard to assess and monitor works without designs.
The Local Government (Amendments) Act requires the interdicted public officials under the local government setting to repossess their positions with the approval of the district service commission.
Mukono Town Clerk, Godfrey Kisekka says since the official was interdicted, they have lacked a district service commission to address the concern raised against Ssemyalo.
“After the audit the accused person is supposed to file defense within fourteen days before the service commission which doesn’t have in place. The interdiction lasts for six months but the one for Ssemyalo is almost coming to a full year. Maybe after the district fully constitutes the commission, then his issue will appear again.” Kisekka notes.
In the audit report conducted in October 2022, Ssemyalo failed to account for over 1 Billion Shillings of local revenue collected in the financial year 2020/2021. It also indicates that he failed to receipt the collected revenue.
For instance, the internal audit report also indicates that in the period of July to August 2021, Ssemyalo obtained 30 Million Shillings from the Kame valley market tender.
Without a legal permission, he also waived payment of revenue from Kame valley market worth shillings 5.9 Million Shillings for the period March to April instead of issuing demand notes.
Out of the printed dues, collection receipts of July and August 2021 worth Shillings 3 Million Shillings for Kikooza market, Ssemyalo banked only 500,000 Shillings.
Ssemyalo is also accused of accessing and causing the disappearance of his personal file from the district service commission’s archives besides contracting personal friends as tenderers instead of using the Procurement and Disposal Unit.
For instance, he hired the services of Saulo Mayambala from Nakabago Mukono to collect loading and unloading fees from June to September 2021, without a memorandum of understanding.
“As a town clerk, your leadership and management style has set a bad example to the staff you lead, and it’s clearly contrary to the Local Government Act. Accordingly therefore, in order to enable further investigations of issues covered and those that are not yet audited, you are hereby notified that you are interdicted from office with immediate effect.” The interdiction letter reads in part.