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Embattled Adjumani CAO Grandfield Oryono ‘sacked’ over Shs1b tax scandal

Adjumani, (UG):- The embattled Chief Administrative Officer for Adjumani District, Mr Oryono Grandfield Omonda has been withdrawn by the Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary Mr Ben Kanyamunyupending other administrative decisions.

Subsequently, the PS has appointed Mr Ocen Andrew, former CAO Soroti District as acting Adjumani CAO designate and it’s not clear where the embattled Oryono is heading but information from the corridors of power at the Local Govt Ministry indicates that he has been sent on forced leave.

The Adjumani RDC Mr Taban Data Peter said Monday that he had received information regarding Oryono’s withdrawal from Adjumani and believes it is a normal administrative resolve aimed at improving human resource efficiency.

Mr. Oryono the most elusive and dreaded CAO in the history of Adjumani district since it attained district status has been absentee CAO as he was almost weekly reportedly away from station on official duty at the expense of service delivery.

He received a lot of protection from Adjumani district chairman Mr. Anyama Ben but even when aggrieved contractors accused him of failure to remit shs 1.1bn of Withholding Tax in the DRDIP project, and now their friendship of convivence was blown apart.

Oryono’s transfer to Adjumani after messing up Moyo

He served as CAO in the mother district of Moyo where Adjumani was curved out of for 4 years but left the district in crumbs as investigations into the financial scam 4 years later led to the arrest and reprimand of four senior officials.

Mr Oryono was disgracefully faulted for employing the infamous colonial administration weapon of divide and rule where he planted spies in every department and infiltrated the office of the district chairman crippling all structures.

On February 22, 2022, when he reported to Adjumani district he was received with a lot of suspicion and mistrust but he immediately asserted himself as the greatest ally of the flamboyant power-wielding district chairman Mr. Anyama Ben.

He came, he saw and he conquered and was fighting to extend the conquest to areas which were traditionally known in Adjumani as no-go zones that was when his efforts were thwarted with all the force it warranted.

Relationship with civil servants

His method of administration was termed by several senior district officials as “stonewall” he was short of mentorship skills and administrative acumen and only issued orders that favored him as such, he fell apart with most of them in the first quarter of his tenure of office.

He cast out the long-serving public officers relating to them on the boss-subject basis as he was only interested in the resource envelope in each department and how much could trickle to his lone benefit.

Some heads of departments confide in Daily Express Uganda that even when you appear in his office to discuss pertinent issues of service delivery, he always kept pipping through the window manifesting disinterest if the activity budget line was not forthcoming.

What drew the contractors against him?

Mr. Oryono is leaving at a time when the entire fraternity of Contractors in the district is bleeding after he was accused of tax fraud in the DRDIP project amounting to shs 1.1bn, he received massive support from the office of the district chairman but the contractors have vowed to pursue the matter until their money is refunded or he ends up behind the mighty walls of Luzira prison.

Under USMID Project his administration in the acutely corrupt grandiloquence bluffing procured a financially epileptic and little-known Kampala-based contractor branded as Rock Trust to execute the contract of upgrading the 3.1-kilometer road stretch in Adjumani town to bituminous grade.

The contract which was initially penned for a duration of six months from June 2023 to December 31, 2023, is still dragging on with faint hopes of completion.

Rock Trust has demonstrated scrawny financial capacity, inadequate competence, and a thin deployment workforce as town residents almost took to the streets to protest the visibly shoddy work on sections of the roads before it was rectified.

Adjumani district engineer Afayo Nick recently informed a gathering at Leisure Park that the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands has granted one month’s extension for the completion of the project but the chances of completing the project are remote.

The fall out with Gen.Moses Ali

Mr. Oryono met his Waterloo when he came face to face with Gen.Moses Ali after the contractors stormed his office in Kampala accusing him (Oryono) of failing to remit, With Holding Tax cash under DRDIP amounting to shs 1.1bn.

The contractors laid a series of accusations including taking a bribe of 10% on each government contract, demanding not less than shs 2m on each payment for the contract execution above all he would menacingly display his star Jericho pistol on the table as he demanded the illegal payment and if you hesitated, he would hold his signature.

He took over the office in Adjumani on February 22, 2022, and in his takeover speech, he pledged to execute his duty diligently.

 He said, “I believe I will be able to execute my work without difficulties and it will be based on the cooperation of the elected and appointed leaders in the district”.

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