Gulu CAO Attacked By Councilors, Flees Under Police Protection

The CAO leaves office in her official car. In the background is a cop in a police pick-truck

Embattled Gulu Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dorothy Ajwang Magola on Tuesday afternoon fled her office under police protection after a group of councilors forced her to hand over the office keys.

Police escorted Ajwang out of her office after councilors led by Peter Julius Oola, the District Vice Chairperson  had forcefully removed from her the office keys and stamp.

Martin Okoyo, the Gulu district police commander and John Bosco Nyankol, the OC in charge of operations came to Ajwang’s rescue.

The councilors had earlier asked Ajwang to meet them at 9 am on Tuesday. But she reportedly told  the Councillors she would meet them in the afternoon. The councilors rejected her  offer and instead locked her  in her office. She stayed in her office for from 9am to about 12 pm when she called the police to come to her rescue.

Ajwang was driven out of her office towards Kampala road. She declined speak to journalists camped infront of her office.

Leader of the Councillors, Oola denied either threatening or ousting Ajwang out of her office.

Earlier on Monday, an unknown group of youth stormed Ajwang’s rented apartment in Goan quarters in Bar- Division in Gulu town accusing her of incompetence, corrupt tendencies and absenteeism from office. The protesters dropped placards at her home.

The protesters carried placards demanding her to leave the district for failure to monitor and implement government programs such as Youth Livelihood Fund and Operations Wealth Creation.

Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa Region Police Spokesperson says police is investigating the attack on Ajwang’s home.

In January this year, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu District LCV Chairperson wrote to the office of the Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Local Government demanding for the removal of Dorothy Ajwang Mugoola, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), over what he described as incompetence on her part.

A team of Inspectors from the Ministry of Local Government as well as officials from State House were sent to investigate the allegations labelled against Ajwang and their reports are yet to be made public.

In his November 4, 2016 letter to the Permanent Secretary, Mapenduzi cited nine grounds for the removal of Ajwang. They are; Negligence of duty, constant absenteeism from duty station, failure to implement council resolutions and District Executive Committee (DEC) recommendations and lack of supervision and support to staff.

Others are; bad working relationship and rampant conflict with Head of Departments and Head of Sectors and frustration of program and project implementation.

But in an interview in November  Ajwang dismissed all the allegation against her.

“I am assessed by the Permanent Secretary every year. We sign a performance contract every year and I also sign another contract with Permanent Secretary, Secretary Treasurer as an accounting officer. I cannot be appointed as an accounting officer if I have failed to execute my duty,” Ajwang said.

She tasked the Mapenduzi to provide evidence to prove the claims against her.

“The Chairman (LCV) should show you the agreement I have with him. Key results areas we agreed with and where I have failed. Two, if it comes to service delivery, if I have failed then it means the head of departments have failed and even him (LCV) as the head of the political wing because he is there as full time as the Chairman and the one responsible for the secretaries. So I cannot fail as an individual. If I have failed, it means he failed, then it means of department have failed, which is not true,” she added.