President Yoweri Museveni has declined to renew the contract of embattled Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) chairperson Sylvia Muwebwa Nabatanzi.
Muwebwa’s contract expired on 19th January 2021 and she was lobbying quietly to have it renewed as she faces charges of corruption and abuse of office at the anti-corruption court.
However, her efforts to have the President renew her contract met a dead end and she is expected to handover office in a few days to come.
Her recent attempts to change her name from Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi to Sylvia Muwebwa Nabatanzi did not help much.
In December last year, the Solicitor General advised that the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development had no powers to interdict Muwebwa, and it was the President to take action.
In a December 2 letter, Mr H. Tukamushaba, writing on behalf of the Solicitor General advised the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Aggrey David Kibenge to bring the matter to the attention of Gender Minister Frank Tumwebaze who will, in turn, inform President Museveni for the final decision.
“Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi is not appointed by the Public Service Commission but by the President, who also has the authority to revoke her appointment according to Section 6 of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act. By virtual of section 24 of the Interpretation Act Cap.3, its the President, him being Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi’s appointing authority, to suspend, reappoint or reinstate her as part of his power of appointment,” Mr. Tukamushaba noted.
“Therefore, in response to your question, our opinion is that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development does not have the power or mandate to interdict Ms. Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi. Accordingly, we advise that you bring the matter to the attention of the supervising minister so that he may in turn bring it to the attention of the president for the requisite action.”
Prior, the Gender Ministry PS had written to the Solicitor General while seeking counsel regarding the required steps for the interdiction of Muwebwa.
“I’m in receipt of a case file ‘Uganda Vs Agnes Enid Kamahoro and 9 others CID Headquarters E/297/2019’ from the Director of Public Prosecutions, bringing to my attention the fact that Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, the Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission has been charged at the Anti-Corruption Court with the offences of conspiracy to defraud (2 counts) and corruption, contrary to section 309 of penal code act and section 2 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2009,” Kibenge said in a letter dated 9 November 2020.
“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. The appointment is subject to the constitution of the Republic of Uganda, The Equal Opportunities Commission Act, Public Service Act regulations made thereunder; Government standing orders and Administrative Instructions issued from time to time.”
Mr Kibenge further revealed that the purpose of the letter was to seek advice from responsible parties on whether or not to proceed to interdict Ms Ntambi based on the advice offered by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“I 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 H.E the President,” he said.
Muwebwa and the nine employees of the commission face 25 counts of causing financial loss, conspiracy to defraud, embezzlement, corruption, and abuse of office.