By John Ogulei
Whereas many would believe that the transfer of the controversial Soroti City Acting City Clerk, Moses Otimong to Gulu City as Acting City Clerk as normal, this website has exclusively learnt that Mr. Otimong’s transfer had many underlying factors.
Mr. Otimong has been in the helm of Soroti Municipal Council from 2018 replacing Emmanuel Banya but his leadership has been characterized by controversies. Some of them include nonpayment of Soroti City Councilors from August 2020 when the City was inaugurated, delay in paying Staff Salaries for the month of January, alleged incompetence, and Misconduct.
Otimong who served as both the Town Clerk Soroti Municipal council before he was appointed as acting Soroti City Clerk, faced tough times for failing to work closely with the political arm of the City. This caused a lot of friction to the extent that a section of councilors petitioned the Minister for Local Government, Inspector General of Government and Auditor General.
In January 2020, Soroti Municipal councilors petitioned the Ministry of Local Government requesting for the immediate transfer of Otimong accusing him of unprofessionalism and incompetence. This petition is believed to have triggered Otimong’s transfer.
In their petition that was signed by George William Okoit as a lead petitioner, a section of Soroti Municipal Council members were furious and bitter at the manner in which Otimong was conducting business at the Municipal top authority.
In their letter dated 21st of January 2020, to the Minister of State for Local Government in charge of Urban Councils, the furious councilors wanted the town clerk to be transferred with immediate effect over gross misconduct, unprofessionalism and incompetence.
“Being the representatives of the people and stakeholders of Soroti Municipality we (councilors) have on several occasions engaged the office of the Town Clerk (Mr. Moses Otimong) to understand the causes of these grave failures, shockingly our endeavors to get answers went unsuccessful. We have discovered very saddening unprofessional acts that Mr. Moses Otimong has been engaging in and these have gravely affected the smooth operations of council in delivering services to the population of Soroti Municipality,” the letter read in part.
The Councilors further added that, “we therefore refer to Section 68 of the Local Government Act which provides reasons for the removal of Chief Administrative Officer and Town Clerk from Office. (1)The district or urban council may recommend the removal of a chief administrative officer or town clerk as the case may be by a resolution supported by two-thirds of the council members on the following grounds (a) Abuse of office; (b) Incompetence; (c) Misconduct or misbehavior; or (d) Such physical or mental incapacity as would render the chief administrative officer incapable of performing the duties of chief administrative officer”.
The website has also established that prior to his transfer to Gulu as acting City Clerk, Otimong and the acting Soroti City Mayor Paul Omer, were embroiled in leadership fights over administrative powers.
Mr Omer accuses the Town Clerk of corruption and conniving with unscrupulous individuals in the top leadership positions to conceal classified information about the City’s developments with intent to obstruct him and council from doing their duties.
“This Town Clerk is corrupt, he has gone against ethics to connive with my political haters to obstruct me from doing public work,” Mr Omer told this website.
Omer added that, “Otimong has done nothing because the market was for former Town Clerk, Banya even value addition, roads were planned during Banya’s time. He is just posing for nothing.”
“even the 17 billion that was meant for 2.5 kilometer road and rehabilitation of the office was started during Banya’s tenure,” Omer notes.
Omer also accused Otimong for failure to repair council vehicles that he says are now grounded, failure to manage garbage that has now covered most roads in Soroti, and failure to make the best use of Aminit garbage plant that was established in 2008 at a tune of over 400 million shillings.
Otimong is also blamed for duping the President in November last year to commission the Soroti City modern market when the works were incomplete.