Kampala, Uganda | URN | Indefinitely suspended Parliament’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs Chris Ariko Obore has returned to office – a day after the defeat of former Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
Obore, who, on Monday 24th, May 2021 was seen on social media dancing to Kadaga’s defeat made a surprise return to parliament on Tuesday 25th, May 2021. He’s spent more than two years without being allowed to access his office.
As soon as he arrived in the Parliament lobby, Mr Obore was photographed by several journalists as he greeted some members of staff and MPs. Asked whether he had resumed work, Mr Obore said he had received a call to report to Parliament.
“All I can say is that I was called by the clerk to Parliament and handed the keys to the office,” Mr Obore said.
While in office, Parliament staff, former MPs and journalists came to meet him. When asked if he is back for work, Mr Obore said he will wait for guidance from the Clerk to Parliament. He was handed the key to his office which he majestically swung in his hands before opening his office doors which had been locked for quite a while.
Dressed in a bow tie synonymous to that of the newly elected Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, the former Daily Monitor journalist was allowed to his office just in time when the new Speaker was taking a tour around Parliament. Mr Oulanyah had a courtesy visit to the Directorate of Communication and Public Affairs which has been under Helen Kawesa during Obore’s absence.
Mr Oulanyah expressed shock on seeing Mr Obore, who has been on forced leave since 2019 when the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige notified him that the Inspectorate of Government had conducted investigations, which found his recruitment at Parliament irregular.
Although Mr Obore was recruited by the Parliament Commission led by the former Speaker Kadaga, the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) found that he did not have the requisite academic qualifications for the job at the time of his recruitment. The applicants were required to hold a degree in media studies and a masters degree in a relevant field.
The applicant was also expected to have a working experience of 10 years, part of which as a communication/public relations or information, protocol and public affairs department from a recognized institution or at the level of assistant commissioner in a government institution.
At the time of his recruitment, Mr Obore was an investigative reporter with the Daily Monitor and only held a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Islamic University in Uganda.
He completed a master’s degree in public policy and governance in 2018 at Uganda Management Institute (UMI). As a result of the investigations, the IGG directed the Clerk to Parliament to review Mr Obore’s employment.