Byabashaija’s Job As Prisons Boss Hangs In Balance As Parliament Rejects Reappointment, Vets New Deputy Governor, DPP

The Parliament Appointments Committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga interacted with nominees and vetted members who were appointed by President Yoweri Museveni.

The positions for which the members were vetted include the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner General and Deputy Commissioner General of the Uganda Prisons Service and board members of the Leadership Code Tribunal.

The Parliament Rules of Procedure provide that the Speaker shall communicate to the President in writing within three working days after the decision of the Appointments Committee on any person nominated by the President for appointment.

First to interact with the committee was Dr Michael Atingi-Ego, who was nominated for the position of Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda. Thereafter, it was Justice Jane Francis Abodo for the position of Director of Public Prosecutions and Dr Johnson Byabashaija for the position of Commissioner General, Uganda Prisons Service.

Dr. Atingi-Ego is currently held up in the US following the closure of the global airspace to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, was engaged by the committee via a video-conferencing session.

The Deputy Governor designate was appointed to the position by President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday, 29 March 2020, replacing Dr Louis Kasekende, who held the position for 13 years; first from 1999 to 2002 and then from January 2010 to January 2020.

The President also appointed Justice Jane Francis Abodo to the position of Director of Public Prosecutions on Thursday, 2 April 2020, replacing Justice Mike Chibita who held the position for six years from August 2013 to December 2019 and has since been elevated to the Supreme Court.

Ms Irene Segawa Karugonjo was nominated by the President to the position of Chairperson of the Leadership Code Tribunal that is provided for under the Leadership Code (Amendment) Act, 2017.

Karugonjo, if successful, will be deputised by Hon. Asuman Kiyingi, a former state minister for foreign affairs.

Other members of the Tribunal include Ms Jane Okelowange, Mr Didas Bakunzi and Ms Joyce Nalunga Birimumasaso.
According to rule 164 (1) of the Parliament Rules of Procedure, the Committee on Appointments is responsible for approving on behalf of Parliament, the appointment of persons nominated for appointment by the President under the Constitution or any other appointment required to be approved by Parliament under any law.

In another development, the vetting committee later rejected the re-appointment of Dr Johnson Byabashaija as the commissioner-general of the Uganda Prisons Service on the basis of old age.

The same committee also rejected the appointment of James Mwanje as his deputy on the same grounds.

Both Byabashaija and Mwanje appeared before the committee chaired by the speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga today for vetting. But sources from the closed-door meeting rejected their appointment on grounds that the two, have already clocked 60, the mandatory retirement age of public servants.

Before he could be entertained by the vetting committee, sources privy to the proceedings indicated that the legislators were debating whether to interface with the officials or just dismiss them.

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