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Activists Challenge Appointment of Resident District Commissioners

Two activists have petitioned the Office of the President challenging the recent appointments of some Resident District Commissioners  (RDCs) due to a lack of prerequisite qualifications.


Denis Twahika and Jossy Niwabiine, who are law students at Makerere University have petitioned the Minister for Presidency seeking access to academic documents of all Resident District Commissioners and their deputies who were recently appointed and posted to the different districts.


Last month, the Office of the President issued a statement communicating reshuffle, new appointments, and termination of Resident Districts and City Commissioners and their deputies.


However, the activists contend that some of the appointments did not adhere to the constitutional requirements that set minimum academic qualifications of Advanced level education for the RDCs.


They argue some of the appointed RDCs lack the required academic qualifications and are holding the offices irregularly.


“…The purpose of this communication is to bring it to your notice, that Article 203(2) was not adhered to in the recent appointment of many resident district Commissioners.  There is overwhelming evidence to suggest and even support the proposition that ‘ many RDCs appointed recently do not qualify to stand as Members of Parliament which is a constitutional requirement and it is couched in ‘mandatory terms’ SHALL’,” the petition reads in part.


Article 203 of the Constitution provides for the appointment of a Resident District Commissioner for each district. The same law requires that besides being citizens of Uganda, the presidential appointees shall have the same qualifications as Members of Parliament.

Through their lawyers of Arinaitwe Peter and Company Advocates, the activists have petitioned the Minister for the Presidency demanding information on how the recent appointees were vetted and whether the process meets the constitutional requirements.


The petitioners have on the other hand asked the Office of the Attorney General to carry out an inquiry against this constitutional violation, and rectify the mistake by subjecting every RDC and their Deputies to avail all particulars concerning their qualifications.


They have threatened to drag to Court, the Minister for Presidency should they be denied free access to academic documents of all the RDCs for proper scrutiny.


Efforts to get a comment from Farouk Kirunda, the Deputy Press Secretary to the Office of the President who issued the RDC’s appointment list yielded no results as his phone was switched off.


However, URN has seen a copy of the petition that was received by the office of the Minister for Presidency on April 19.


The latest appointments of RDCs and their Deputies have also been in the spotlight over the mess witnessed as they reported to their respective duty stations. The irregularities included misspelled names and appointments of more than one person for the same office.


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