Probe into Obore's 'irregular' appointment at parliament completed

Chris Obore

Chris Obore

The Inspectorate of Government is finalising the investigation into circumstances under which parliament's director of communications and public affairs, Chris Obore was recruited into the position in 2015. The probe started almost three years ago following a report filed by a whistleblower detailing anomalies in Obore's recruitment.

The whistleblower indicated that Obore did not have the minimum 10 years of service, a requirement set by the Public Service Commission for one to be appointed a director and that he did not possess a master's degree as required by the Public Service Commission.

According to a 2015 job advert by the parliamentary commission, the candidate who was sought for was expected to hold 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 master's degree in a relevant field.

The applicant was also expected to have a working experience of 10 years, part of which was as a communication/public relations or information, protocol and public affairs from a recognised institution or at the level of assistant commissioner in a government institution.

Obore was appointed parliament's director for communication and public affairs in August 2015 after allegedly beating fellow journalist Charles Mwanguhya to the job and took the oath of office on September 3, 2015.

Prior to his appointment, Obore had been an investigative reporter with the Daily Monitor and only held a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication, obtained from Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). He completed a Master's degree in Public Policy and Governance this year at the Uganda Management Institute (UMI).

In a telephone interview, Ali Munira, the spokesperson of the Inspectorate of Government (IG) said that the complaint against Obore's alleged irregular recruitment had been filed a few months into his term of service.  Munira says the investigations have been finalised but declined to divulge details about the findings, saying that the final report will be out within a month.

"We are in the final stages of the report and it will be out soon, like in a month's time," said Munira.

Obore's tenure as communications director has been marred by the controversy which reached fever pitch when he blocked journalists without degrees from covering parliament.

Sources say the parliamentary commission has also not been satisfied with Obore's performance as parliament continues to suffer bad publicity and negative press, with some commissioners questioning whether he has the know-how in turning around parliament's image.

The director of communication and public affairs is expected to offer strategic communication direction to the parliament of Uganda and promote the institutions visibility. The director is the official spokesperson of the parliament. 

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd