By Norah Owaraga
Your Excellency, with the highest of humility, this is a recommendation that you should accept the resignation of Jennifer Semakula Musisi and moreover immediately, without any delay. Her 21-page “notice of resignation” letter that is dated 15th October 2018 reveals her incompetence and her wanting character for one to hold the position of Executive Director (ED) of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
Save for the first paragraph, the one after the salutations, the rest of the stuff contained in her 21-page notice of resignation is inappropriate to be included in such a communication, let alone by an ED of a significant public institution, such as KCCA. A notice of resignation from a job need only include the intention to resign and the timeframe in which the resignation is intended to take effect.
However, giving timely notices of resignation is best practice that is required, particularly of persons holding key positions, so that there is sufficient time for the exiting one to account and for audits – forensic and otherwise – to be conducted for the different aspects for which the exiting one is responsible for; and moreover audits that are conducted by external legitimate competent authorities.
This means, therefore, that in cases of a ‘normal resignation’ as opposed to a ‘forced resignation’, when one chooses to resign, one must take into account one’s ability to do accountabilities within a particular timeframe and the ability of the appointing authority to have the accountabilities verified and audited within the timeframe. That is to say, when one gives notice of resignation, one has to ensure that the timeframe is sufficient for accountability and for rigorous verification of one’s accountability to be done before one’s term of office expires.
In which case, therefore, an important element of the content of a professional notice of resignation, it is expected, should include suggestions of how one intends to ensure that one will transparently do accountabilities and how one’s accountability may be transparently and independently verified and audited by the appointing authority.
A major purpose for giving timely notice of resignation, in addition, is so that the appointing authority begins the process of recruitment for a replacement. Ideally, within best practice, it is preferred that the replacement should take office while the term of office of the exiting one is current. This is in order to facilitate a smooth and an effective handover that ensures a glitches-free transition or at worst a transition with minimum glitches.
In which case, therefore, important content of a professional notice of resignation, especially by one holding a significant position of leadership in a significant public institution, is the provision of a recruitment plan for the successor. At the very least, the plan in the notice of resignation should suggest the timeframe for recruitment – giving specific indications for when the adverts should go out; when the interviews should be done; and when the successor should be in place to receive the handover.
This vital information is missing from Musisi’s 21-page notice of resignation. But instead she has provided a catalogue of what she claims her achievements as the first ED of KCCA. A closer discourse analysis of what she has included in her letter as highlights of her achievements, moreover, indicates that she does not sufficiently understand the difference between output indicators versus impact indicators.
If you so wish to acquaint with a more detailed explanation, in my opinion, of the difference between an output indicator and an impact indicator, please refer to my analysis titled: “Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and the Ad hominem Fallacy”, in which I demonstrate how using output indicators to deduce impact is logically flawed.
In the case of OWC it is deduced that it is achieving enormous impact on the basis of the outputs related to distribution of inputs. From page 2 to 18 Musisi’s 21-page notice of resignation contains a catalogue of outputs that have been achieved by KCCA during her term of office; and it is on the basis of those outputs she seemingly deduces progress towards transforming Kampala.
This is not to say that Musisi does not need to report on the outputs that have been generated while she has been ED of KCCA. A notice of resignation is the wrong medium to report on outputs and moreover for the purpose of using them to deduce impact. Reporting of outputs should be accompanied with the following analyses, among others: value-for-money, budget compliance, viability, achievement of results, and ultimately achievement of overall goals for each and every project or work-package. It is on the basis of such analyses that impact (intended or intended) can be deduced.
From page 18 to 20 of the 21-page notice of resignation, Musisi reveals questionable character. She deliberately and strenuously credits politicians for her failure to forge efficient working relationships with the political wing of KCCA. You will recall, moreover, that in fact at the beginning of her tenure the political wing of KCCA was dominated by councillors belonging to the ruling party. But suffice it to write, once again, this kind of content is inappropriate for a notice of resignation letter.
The content from page 2 to page 20 of Musisi’s 21-page notice of resignation is content that is normally expected to be included in a comprehensive handover report; and a report which should be subjected to verification, auditing, and approval by the relevant authorities before it may be shared publically, if at all and in summarised form which is sensitive to the global image of our capital city and our country.
That Musisi does not know these basics of how to handle a resignation process by one holding a significant position in a significant public institution, is a major indicator that she is incompetent to be holding the office of ED of KCCA.
A school of thought has in fact emerged which suggests that, seemingly, her notice of resignation letter is likely a strategy which is consistent with one holding ill-intension to arm-twist you, the appointing authority, to reject her resignation and to get involved in the harmful practice of playing favourites; a practice which causes inflated egos and inevitably renders the beneficiaries of such unprofessional practices to fail in executing their duties.
The job of ED of KCCA requires one with skills and expertise to work with both the technical teams and the politicians in order to deliver results for the greater good and benefit of the electorate. The person holding the position of ED of KCCA must be one with impeccable character and that is comfortable in her competence not to engage in finger point and maligning of others for her failure to do her job.
Mr. President, accept Musisi’s resignation. Through her 21-page notice of resignation letter she has demonstrated that she is incompetent for the job.