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Soroti Town Clerk In Hot Soup for Not Paying Councilors

eastnews.co.ug

By John Ogulei

SOROTI

The Soroti City acting Town Clerk is currently on spot for not paying councilors their arrears for one year and disbanding their operations before the new council has been sworn in place.

Moses Otimong is being castigated by Soroti City Councilors for stopping them from running council activities from August 2020 after the city was inaugurated to date.

Other councilors also accuse Otimong for not approving their request to have council sessions and not paying them from March last Year to date without clear reasons

The financial Crisis at the newly created Soroti City Council Authority is not about to end, after recently the City authorities declared they had failed to pay staff salary for the month of January that brought uproar amongst the staff.

Emmanuel Osigire of Akisim Ward Soroti City accuses Otimong for disbanding their operations without clear reasons.

“The Town Clerk has always told us that our term in council has been terminated and we are wondering who has issued such orders,” He said.

He added since the inauguration of the city in August the councilors haven’t sat and no monitoring of Government programs has been done.

Harriet Agwang the Northern Youth Councillor also accused Otimong for only dealing with his technical staff in running the affairs of Soroti City Council.

She said the 2021/2022 financial budget has been decided by the technical team without approval of the council.

“The financial year is coming to an end and the council hasn’t sat to approve the budget for the next financial year. Only what we are told is that this financial year’s budget is to be approved by the Technical team,” Agwang said while castigating Otimong for not respecting the institution of the Councils.

“Even the lower councils (Division Councils) haven been paid their ex gratia from March 2020 and there is no clear reason given to us as the councilors. We want him to come out clearly to inform us why he has decided to dissolve our operations,” She insisted.

Hellen Rose Agojo, one of the Councilors’ has however asked the Ministry of Local Government officials to look into their matter and transfer Mr. Otimong whom she accuses of underrating the councilors.

The interim Soroti City Mayor Paul Omer when contacted for a comment told this website that Mr. Otimong has started making personal decisions on behalf of Soroti City Council.

“Otimong likes working in isolation and doesn’t take advice,” Omer said while also asking the Minister of Local Government to transfer Otimong if Soroti City is to develop and compete with other cities.

Soroti Residence District Commissioner Robert Adiama on the other hand has said his office is in touch with both the councilors and the office of the town clerk to harmonize the impulse.

He revealed that he has summoned Mr. Otimong for a harmonization meeting scheduled for next week.

“I have summoned both the councilors and Otimong for a harmonization meeting next week. It’s not proper for our people to suffer yet they are meant to be paid,” Adiama said.

The State Minister for Local Government Jenifer Namuyangu however when reached however said, “The current government is still running up to May and dissolving them when their term is still running isn’t proper.”

“If the council has been dissolved, how does he approve the next financial year’s budget and other government business”? He asked while challenging Soroti City Town Clerk to pay the councilors what belongs to them.

But Otimong when reached for a comment could not neither admit nor refute the allegations labelled against him.

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