Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Chairperson Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi has been committed to the High court for trial on charges of corruption.
Ntambi, battling charges of conspiracy to defraud and corruption, was on Tuesday (November 24, 2020) committed after the state prosecutor Harriet Angom informed the court that investigations were complete and that they are ready to present evidence against her and nine other former workers of the commission.
This prompted the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamella Lamunu to commit the accused to High Court for trial.
“Since investigations on the matter are complete. I hereby commit you to the Anti-Corruption Division of High Court for trial,” Lamunu ruled.
Ntambi is accused of neglecting her duty of directing the affairs and administration of the commission, thereby leading to gross mismanagement of the commission funds worth sh245.5m.
Ntambi also allegedly conspired with EOC employees to defraud the Government of sh44.5m. She allegedly committed the offences between July 2018 and April 2019 at the EOC offices in Kampala.
According to prosecution, the accused requisitioned, approved and forwarded the monies for payment, purporting that it was for conducting sensitisation activities in Karamoja and to undertake an audit exercise of the rural electrification programme in Uganda.
The money also, according to prosecution, was meant for developing a draft workplace policy on HIV/AIDS, monitoring exercise sensitisation on equity and rights issues in lower local governments, whereas not.
According to the prosecution, some of the accused allegedly received millions of shillings on their accounts and neglected their duty of accounting for it.
Since Ntambi took over the chairperson-ship of the commission, the whistleblower said Mrs Ntambi has unfairly dismissed over 11 staff, terminated over 10 staff contracts, and four contracts have not been renewed. In 2017/ 2018, the Auditor General advised the commission to employ people on permanent contracts however the chairperson declined and this has since led to financial losses.
They accused her of directing the collection of Shs100 million which they had approved in the commission meeting and the said money was to be used as kickbacks for individuals who worked hard for passing of the commission budget in 2018/19.
“It was paid and collected through individual bank accounts. It was collected and handed over to her at Kampala International University (KIU), Kansanga on 7th March 2019,” the whistle blower said. Despite being chairperson of the commission, Mrs Ntambi is averred to have forced her secretaries to pay her as consultant in production of various reports.
“The money was paid to Prof. Sunday Nicholas Olwor (Shs 14M), Kamahoro Enid (Shs 13M), Nassanga Sarah (Shs 5M), Atukunda Susan (Shs 6M), Mugisha James (Shs 12M), Kwesiga Ronnie (Shs 12M), Kwesiga Ronnie (Shs 10.55M), Sarah Nassanga (Shs 9M), Kwihangana Manasseh (Shs 13M), Prof. Sunday Nicholas Olwor (Shs 9.8M), Kwesiga Ronnie (Shs 9M) and sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi (Shs 13M),” payment slips indicate.
She is also accused of irregular approval of allowances of various members of the commission, using commission vehicle for doing private businesses, irregular recruitment of staff without embracing commission procedures. It is said that she illegally recruited Betty Namazzi, Juma Waira and Petau Isabirye Babirye.