The Masaka City Councilors have passed a vote of no confidence against Tony Ssempijja as the Speaker, accusing him of abuse of office and social misconduct.
Ssempijja who is the councilor representing Kimanya-Kabonera division was impeached on Wednesday in a majority vote, during an extraordinary council session presided over by the Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi, with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Ben Kumumanya.
His impeachment followed a petition by 13 out of 16 councilors of Masaka City Council, who accused him of abuse of office, misusing his authority to suffocate free debate by councilors, altering council records for selfish interests, and neglecting his parental responsibility hence casting the council in public disrepute.
Councillors led by Rosette Nansubuga, the City Female representative, petitioned the Minister of Local Government to inform him about their intentions to replace the Speaker with a more credible and competent person.
Despite Ssempjja’s attempts to apologize and seek reconciliation, the enraged councilors took a strong stand and voted to threw him out of office.
Ssempijja who was in the company of his lawyer Jude Mbabali, pleaded with Minster Magyezi to allow them a period of one week to iron out the apparent controversies with councilors, but the appeal was unsuccessful after the councilors insisted on voting him out of office.
Nansubuga argued that they repeatedly called Ssempijja to order but he deliberately remained indifferent, an indication that he was not remorseful.
Councilors accordingly elected Achilles Mawanda as the new Masaka City Council Speaker to replace Ssempijja, who however vowed to challenge his impeachment in courts of law.
Meanwhile, Minister Magyezi noted that he was left with no option but to guide the council on how to settle the stalemate that had arisen from a conflict between the majority councilors and the Speaker.
He revealed that he has previously reached out to Ssempijja and advised him to reconcile with the aggrieved councilors to create harmony, but in vain, as he declined to heed to the advice.
Magyezi indicates that the Ministry could not afford to leave the council in confusion, something that would frustrate effective service delivery and aspirations of the people.
Notably, early this month Ssempija ran to court and sought an injunction to block the debate on a motion of his censure, but his prayers failed after the Masaka High Court Registrar Julius Borore threw out his application on Tuesday.