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Pastor Ssempa sues minister Lokodo over pornography committee sacking

Ethics and Integrity Minister, Fr Simon Lokodo said that Pastor Martin Ssempa’s suspension was as a result of underperformance

 

Pastor Martin Ssempa of Makerere Community Church has sued the State minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Peter Lokodo, for firing him from the Pornography Control Committee without first hearing him out.
In his suit filed before the High Court in Kampala on February 25, Pastor Ssempa contends that his woes with the minister arose after he raised the red flag about the incompetent staff, poor and wrongful utilisation of Shs2b funds meant for the activities of the committee, among other irregularities.

“Sometime after I lodged the above-stated complaint, I came to establish that I had been wrongfully terminated from being a member of the Pornography Control Committee on social media platforms, and later by the way of a letter addressed to me by the 2nd respondent (Attorney General), instructing me to keep away from all activities of the committee,” Pastor Ssempa states in his lawsuit.

Pastor Ssempa contends that he was fired on social media without being given the right to explain his side of the story, a move he says contravenes the rules of natural justice.
He says his salary too has been withheld.
According to court documents, each committee member was supposed to get a monthly retainer fee of Shs2.5m.
The term of office was for five years, which would be renewable only once.

What next
Pastor Ssempa now wants the court to quash the decision by minister Lokodo ordering him to stay away from the activities of the Pornography Control Committee.
He also wants the court to issue a directive for an independent investigation into the irregularities he raised about the running of the committee
By press time yesterday, Fr Lokodo and the Attorney General, both respondents, had not yet put in their defence to the lawsuit.

Background
The committee. In August 2017, government, set up a nine-member Pornography Control Committee to prevent use or spread of pornographic material and information.
During the inauguration of the members of the committee, Fr Lokodo said the government would spend Shs2b each year to fund activities of the ad hoc team.
Chaired by Dr Annette Kezaabu Kasimbazi, the team was to operate a fully-fledged secretariat with support of technical staff and have the latitude to incorporate any subject specialists of interest.
The core role of the team was to use top-end gadgets to monitor and or intercept downloading, watching, sharing, and or transmission of electronic pornographic material.

awesaka@ug.nationmedia.com

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