By Pascal Kwesiga
Masindi district chairman Steven Birija has disowned a letter that purported that he had resigned his position.
The five-page letter circulated via the Internet said Birija resigned over political persecution.
The letter was downloaded and distributed to various district leaders and media houses, including The New Vision.
But the district leaders, during a special council session on Friday, dismissed the letter as a forgery, saying its source was not clear.
The deputy district chairperson, Wilfred Byakagaba, who said he had spoken to Birija on phone on Saturday, said the chairperson had vehemently denied having written the letter.
â€œI have talked to him and he is very shocked by the letter. He has denied having written such a letter.â€
Byakagaba said Birija, who is on leave in London, promised to return to Uganda after Christmas.
â€œHe has not even been out of the district for three months as some people are saying,â€ Byakagaba said.
He added that the district chairman began his one-month leave on October 23 after he attended the district public accounts committee meeting.
â€œPeople should not get worried because Birija is doing well and he will join us soon.â€
Byakagaba explained that according to the local Government Act, Birija was required to send the original copies of the letter if he wanted to resign instead of photocopies, which were supplied to the district officials.
Byakagaba added that the district was investigating the source of the letter and the motive of its author.
The district council speaker, John Kahira, said he asked the district secretary to download the letter from the internet after receiving rumours from the public that Birija had sent his resignation letter via the Internet.
â€œWe knew about the letter after the public had already known and read it,â€ he said
The letter, dated December 14, said Bijira resigned after careful consideration of the circumstances he had encountered since becoming the district chairperson and the spokesperson of the Bunyoro delegation, which is involved in the discussion and negotiation of the Banyoro-Bafuruki conflict.
The letter added that the chairpersonâ€™s powers had been usurped by political actors and organs with vested interests well known in the district.
It also said Birija had resigned due to the Governmentâ€™s failure to resolve Bunyoroâ€™s land problems and avail to the public the agreements and contracts it signed with oil companies.