The chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, is expected to appear before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala, today and plead to corruption charges brought against her about a month ago.
Ms Ntambi is among others, accused of negligence that led to gross mismanagement of the commission’s funds. She is indicted alongside other nine members of the commission who have since been charged and are out on bail.
On October 29, 2020, Court remanded the chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi on charges of causing financial loss, embezzlement, corruption, abuse of office, and conspiracy to defraud.
Ntambi was remanded by Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu to Kigo prison until November 4 when she returns for hearing of her case.
Earlier last month, the court issued criminal summons against Ntambi to appear before it but she failed to show up on three occasions citing sickness as the reason for her non-appearance.
However, drama ensued in court as Ntambi’s lawyer, Brian Kabafunzaki was presenting his submission for bail. An unidentified man stood and raised an objection. He told court that the accused had previously presented to the court forged medical documents from Medik Hospital claiming that she had been admitted there. He asked the court to punish her but the Police were called in and they escorted the man out of the courtroom.
According to the charge sheet signed by Jane Frances Abodo, the Director of Public Prosecution, Ntambi, Mugabe, Mujuni Mpitsi and Jemba conspired to defraud the government of sh35,002,000. The prosecution alleges that the accused claimed the money to undertake an audit exercise of the Rural Electrification Programme in Uganda which activity is said to have not taken place.
It also alleged that Ntambi between July 2018 and April 2019 at the Equal Opportunities Commission offices in Kampala District, as the chairperson, neglected her duty of directing the affairs and administration of the Commission, thereby leading to gross mismanagement of the Commission Funds.
What is the Equal Opportunities Commission
The Equal Opportunities Commission is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament to eliminate discrimination and inequalities against any individual or group of persons on the ground of sex, age, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, health status, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability, and take affirmative action in favor of groups marginalised based on gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom to redress imbalances which exist against them, and to provide for other related matters.
The EOC is a constitutional body mandated to eliminate discrimination and inequalities against any individual or group of persons. The commission is mandated to take affirmative action in favour of groups marginalised on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom for the purpose of redressing imbalances which exist against them.
Under count 12, Ms Ntambi alongside Ms Agnes Enid Kamahoro, 48, senior personal secretary, and Mr Mujuni Mpitsi, 49, secretary, between January 6, 2019 and April 30, 2019, allegedly conspired to defraud government of more than Shs9m. Her other co-accused are Mr Moses Mugabe, 38, a senior monitoring and evaluation officer, Ms Harriet Byangire, 37, senior accountant, Mr Ronnie Kwesiga, 33, acting accounts assistant, Mr Evans Jjemba, 35, principal compliance officer, and Mr Manasseh Kwihangana, 39, senior compliance officer.