The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Jane Francis Abodo has dropped corruption charges against the Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi.
In a letter to the anti-corruption court, Justice Abodo discontinued the charges against Mrs Sylvia noting that her office lost interest in the matter.
The dropping of charges happened barely a month after the accused changed her name. According to a deed poll, she renounced and abandoned the use of the name Sylvia Ntambi as it appears on her national identification card and in the lieu assumed the name Sylvia Nabatanzi Muwebwa.
The charging of Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi and nine others followed the lunging of complaints to President Yoweri Museveni calling for his intervention. According to a petition dated 22nd May 2019, the whistleblower accused her of causing financial loss of over Shs 200 million through termination of workers contracts and forcing workers to resign and replace them with her relatives and friends.
Ntambi was 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.
The whistleblower alleged that Ntambi also 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.
Since Ntambi took over the chairperson-ship of the commission, the whistleblower said Mrs Ntambi had 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 the 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 whistleblower said. Despite being the chairperson of the commission, Mrs Ntambi is averred to have forced her secretaries to pay her as a consultant in the 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 was 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 was said that she illegally recruited Betty Namazzi, Juma Waira and Petau Isabirye Babirye.
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.