The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGSLD), Aggrey David Kibenge has written to the Solicitor General, seeking advice on the interdiction of troubled Equal Opportunities Commission Chairperson (EOC), Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi.
In the 09th November 2020 letter, the Permanent Secretary wants the Solicitor General who is the official government legal advisor to guide on the interdiction of Presidential appointees, such as the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission.
“In reference to Regulation 38(1)(b) of the Public Service Commission Regulations, S1 No.1 of 2009 and Order F-S 8 of the Public Standing Orders, the Director of Public Prosecutions has advised me to perform my Statutory obligations as the Responsible Officer, to interdict Ms. Sylvia, Muwebwa Ntambi having been charged with criminal offences, in order to pave way for tooth investigations and uninterrupted prosecution of the case” Mr. Kibenge wrote before adding;
“I am in receipt of the case file from the Director of Public Prosecutions, bringing to my attention the fact that Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi has been charged at the Anti-Corruption Court with offences of Conspiracy to Defraud (2 counts) and Corruption, contract to Section 309 of the Penal Code Act and section 2 (t) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009,”
“As you are aware, the Chairperson and Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission are appointed by H.E the President with the approval of Parliament” Kibinge adds.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is two-fold- to seek your advice on whether to proceed to interdict Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi based on the advice offered by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and if the above advice by the DPP, stands, to seek your guidance on who is the rightful responsible officer to interdict the officer being an appointee of the H.E the President,” he concludes.
Ms Ntambi is jointly accused with nine other former employees of the Commission who were interdicted after they were charged last year. They were released on bail pending the trial.
The nine suspects are Ms Ntambi’s former senior personal secretary Ms Agnes Enid Kamahoro, Moses Mugabe (senior monitoring evaluation officer), Harriet Byangire (senior accountant), Ronnie Kwesiga (acting accounts assistant), Evans Jjemba (principal compliance officer), Manasseh Kwihangana (senior compliance officer), Sarah Nassanga (office attendant) and Sunday Nicholas Olwor.
It is alleged that between November 2018 and April 2019 at EOC offices in Kampala District, Mugabe, Mujuni, Jjemba and Ntambi being employed in the commission in their respective positions conspired to defraud the government of Shs35m and more than Shs9m between January and April 2019.
The disgraced EOC Chairperson however is slated to leave office at the end of December 30th when her 4-year term expires.
Prosecution alleges that between November 2018 and April 2019, Mugabe stole Shs29m and Shs14.5m which belonged to EOC. The state also accuses Mugabe and Jjemba of stealing Shs5.7m, the property of EOC.
According to prosecution, in November 2018 at EOC offices, Mujuni being the secretary to the commission approved payment of Shs35m purportedly for undertaking an audit exercise of Rural Electrification Programme in Uganda which act caused financial loss to government.
Prosecution further alleges that in December 2018, Kamahoro, Mujuni and Olwor, abused their respective offices when they fraudulently processed, requisitioned, approved Shs19m and forwarded it for payment purportedly for development.
According to the prosecution, between January 24 and April 2019, Ms Kamahoro and Ms Nassanga stole more than Shs13m and Ms Nassanga alone stole another Shs13m from EOC.