The Inspector General of Government will in less than a month finalise investigation into circumstances under which Parliament’s Director Communications and Public Affairs, Chris Obore joined Parliamentary service.
Basing on the findings of the report, Obore could retain his job or be on his way out of the office he has held for only three years, sources have told us.
Mr Obore took oath of office on September 3, 2015 after he emerged most fit for the job, beating three others including colleague; Charles Mwanguhya Mpagi.
However, shortly after his first few months in office, Obore’s troubles began and hardly a year later, he was loathed by most staff, senior and junior.
A few more months later, he reportedly fell out with the alpha and omega of parliament- Rebecca Kadaga, who we understand could have been instrumental in his appointment to the post.
Why the report now?
A whistle blower filed a report to IGG in the first months of Obore’s term of office explaining the anomalies in his recruitment. However, since Obore still had the backing of Kadaga, the report was shelved for just the right time.
Obore’s reported fall out with Kadaga could now accelerate the report.
The office of IGG confirmed they will be done in less than a month.
“It is true that we are investigating the irregular appointment of Chris Obore as Director of communications at Parliament. This begun in 2016, a few months after he was appointed and the red flag was raised by a whistleblower. The report of this investigation will complete in less than a month,” Munira Ali, IGG office in charge of communications.
The whistle-blower indicated that Obore did not have the minimum 10 years of service, and a Master’s degree at the time of appointment, all which are prerequisite by the Public Service Commission for one to be appointed a director.
According to the job advert by the Parliamentary Commission, the candidate ought to have had an Honors Degree in Mass Communication, Communication Studies, Journalism, or Arts with Communication and Public Relations studied as subjects, from a recognised University plus a Masters’ Degree in a relevant field.
The applicant had to have a working experience of 10 years, part of which was as a communication/Public Relations or Information, Protocol and Public Affairs Department from a recognised Institution or at the level of Assistant Commissioner in a Government Institution.
How did Obore get the job?
In early 2015, Parliament noted need for a person able to speak for the institution and the office of the speaker.
The person available was a one Rani Ismail who was attached to the speaker and the communications office and she was already over stretched.
A meeting chaired by the speaker then decided another person be appointed to handle the spokesperson role.
According to the meeting, the person would have to be ‘rabid’, not easily intimidated by media and able to defend the office of the speaker without fear or favour.
A head hunt was commissioned, and a number of names fronted among which included; The East African bureau chief, Charles Mwanguhya Mpagi and Corporate Affairs Manager for Eskom Uganda Ltd, Simon Kasyate.
The two were set for interviews until Chris Obore’s name came up, automatically knocking off Kasyate. Obore and Mwanguhya sat for the interviews and the former got the nod.
The fall out starts
Once in office, Obore started trashing the old guard, the likes of Hellen Kaweesa who had been in service for quite sometime.
Obore also started realigning people’s roles in the event withdrawing long time serving member in Speaker’s office, Rani Ismail.
Within a very short time, he was not wanted at the office and that is the same time a whistle blower ran to the IGG, but Obore was unstoppable, he would soon withdraw all policies of team building that had been enjoyed by staff.
“We used to go for team building sessions at five star hotels and spend some days there, but when he came to office, all was taken away and he retained the money for himself,” one of the staff in Obore’s office claimed on promise of anonymity.
Enter Catherine Bamugemereire
On May 10, 2018, Obore’s luck finally lost its legs when in a post on social media, he attacked Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire who is inseparable with Kadaga.
In his post, Obore accused Bamugemereire of forcing a fake English accent and trying so hard to impress like a S.6 student while conducting her business at the Land Commission. He also went ahead and accused her of shouting like a kid.
After the Facebook post, Obore received an ear full from Kadaga. He would then pull down the post as well as ask different media that had written stories about it to trash them.
However, it was too late, Kadaga does tolerate those who attack her close friends.
Obore had broken into the wrong house; the trio of Bamugemereire, Kadaga and the IGG Mulyagonja and just like that he had pressed the wrong button.
“Obore fell out with all people that can help him now,” a source inside parliament’s communications office told The Nile Post.
Obore speaks out
Obore said he is aware of the whistle blowers report, but insists it is the handiwork of people fighting him, whom he can’t stop.
“These could be people fighting me, but I can’t stop them. Can you stop people from fighting? They can do what they want. I got to know about the investigations about 2 years ago,” he said.
Regarding whether he was irregularly recruited or not, Obore said; “I can’t comment much on this topic, let us wait for the IGG report.”