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High Court halts Obore's sacking

By Michael Odeng

Added 10th April 2019 07:26 PM

The Judge directed the Parliamentary Commission to respond to Obore’s application within 15 days

High Court halts Obore's sacking

Chris Obore got temporary relief from the courts in his bid to reverse his sacking. File Photo

The Judge directed the Parliamentary Commission to respond to Obore’s application within 15 days

The High Court has temporarily halted the Parliamentary Commission from sacking the Director, Communications and Public Affairs in the Parliamentary service, Chris Ariko Obore.

Justice Henrietta Wolayo, the Civil Division of the High Court deputy head on Wednesday directed that the recommendation by the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige to terminate Obore from his position be stopped, pending determination of his case.

"In view of the recommendations by the Clerk to Parliament that the services of the applicant will be terminated, an interim order shall issue maintaining the status quo until disposal of this application," she ordered.  

The Judge also directed the lawyer representing Parliamentary Commission, Sitnah Cherotich, to respond to Obore's application within 15 days and adjourned the case to April 17 for the hearing of the case.

Obore, who is being represented by lawyer Augustine Idoot a fortnight ago dragged to court the commission of the House seeking to stop his termination following threats to sack him from his position by the Clerk of Parliament in a letter dated March 5, 2019.

He sued the Parliamentary Commission over the issue at the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala through Kampala Associated Advocates. Obore has asked the court to compel the commission to pay him costs of the suit.

"I seek an interim injunction restraining the commission, its agents or servants from implementing the decision of the Clerk of Parliament, to terminate my employment in the parliamentary service, pending determination of the main case," Obore asks the court.

He says the main suit discloses important issues relating to the legality and propriety of the impugned decision, which matter has high chances of success.  

"There is an imminent threat of the respondent implementing the impugned decision to my detriment. Unless the commission is restrained from implementing the directive, the applications shall be rendered nugatory," he contends.

Obore added: "The balance of convenience favours me, who is currently lawfully employed in the said position and stands to lose more if the commission is permitted to implement the directive."

In his application, Obore states that it is in the interest of justice, fostering good governance and respect for the rule of law that all reliefs sought by him be granted.

In his affidavit, Obore says he has been in the said position since August 2015.

He narrates that in May 2015, he received a letter informing him that Parliamentary Service Commission had expressed interest in filling the said position and he was identified as one of the potential candidates, before sitting for interviews over the same.

Obore says subsequently he received a letter dated August 19, 2015, from the office of the clerk to parliament, informing him that he had been offered an appointment on probation.

He says that upon successful completion of his probation, he was confirmed in the stated position.

Obore reveals that on March 18, 2019, he received a letter informing him of the report from the Inspectorate of Government titled "findings on the systematic investigation into the process of appointments of the Director, Communication and Public Affairs by the Parliamentary Commission."

The letter was addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga. By the said letter, Obore was informed of the decision by the clerk of parliament to terminate his employment.

"I had never been accorded right to defend myself before the commission or any other relevant body," he contends.

Obore says his lawyers have advised him that the Clerk of Parliament made the decision in excess of her powers and that the impugned decision is illegal and irregular.

He says he will suffer irreparable damage if the decision of the commission is not halted. 

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