Down & Out! Gender PS Directs Ntambi, Other Top EOC Bosses To Handover Office

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr Aggrey Kibenge has directed senior officials of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) whose contracts have expired to hand over office immediately.

The contracts for the EOC commissioners, including the chairperson, Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi, who 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, expired in January and the President has not communicated his decision on whether or not he will renew some of them.

Three commissioners are however, eligible to be reappointment for another five-year- term. The other two commissioners are not eligible for reappointment.

Previously EOC boss was using Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi but now she dropped Ntambi and replace it with Nabatanzi hence adoption of Sylvia Nabantazi Muwebwa.

According to Kibenge, the commissioners were supposed to hand over office on February 5 but this ceremony was postponed.

In a February 19 letter to the Under Secretary in the Gender ministry, the officials in question, with the exception of Mr Joel Cox Ojuko should hand over handover immediately.

Mr Ojuko had complained that his contract runs out in July 2021 and not January 2021 as the other officers. The PS said Mr Ojuko can meanwhile remain in office as they look into his matter.

“All Members of the Commission, with the exception of Mr. Ojuko. should he contacted to immediately hand over to you the offices, official documentation and assets in their possession as we await responses from the authorities quoted above,” Mr Kabenge said.

Other commission members are; Mr Patrobas Sirabo Wafula, Ms Zaminah Malole and Mr Dennis Nduhura.

“For clarity, Mr. Ojuko’s hand over should be deferred until the Solicitor General responds to our request for his opinion, although our considered view is that he cannot unilaterally constitute and exercise any of the powers of the Commission. Hopefully, the issue of either appointment of new Members or the Solicitor General’s opinion on this matter will be resolved as soon as possible. In the same vein Ms. Jane N. Ekapu, hitherto caretaking the Office of Secretary to the Commission, should also hand over to you. You will execute responsibilities of this Office until a new Commission is in place or advised otherwise. You may wish to temporarily re-assign some responsibilities to staff you have in post to facilitate smooth flow of business. Please do not hesitate to consult with myself, and/or with the Hon. Minister through my Office, on any matter that will help the uninterrupted running of the Commission’s business during this interim period,” he added.

Other commission members are; Mr Patrobas Sirabo Wafula, Ms Zaminah Malole and Mr Dennis Nduhura.

The letter is copied to the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, All Ministers of State, MGLSD, the outgoing EOC Chairperson and Members, the Principal Private Secretary to the President, and the Solicitor General, among others.

Sources close to State House said the President is still consulting widely on whether to renew the contracts of the EOC officials and cannot be rushed since the law gives him leeway to either reappoint the three eligible commissioners or pick other qualified Ugandans to run EOC.

The expiry of the contracts of the commissioners, came at the time when its chairperson, Ms Ntambi was battling corruption related charges before the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo, Kampala.

However on Feb 10, 2020 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) dropped corruption-related charges against Ntambi.

They included; two counts of conspiracy to defraud government and corruption.

Ntambi was accused of fraud and of superintending over unethical practices that have seen staff polarised along tribal lines.

It is alleged that between November 2018 and April 2019 at EOC offices in Kampala District, Mugabe, Mujuni, Jjemba, and Ntambi being employed in the commission in their respective positions conspired to defraud the government of Shs35 million and more than Shs9.4 million between January and April 2019.

Since she became the chairperson of the commission, it was alleged that Ntambi unfairly dismissed over 11 staff, terminated over 10 staff contracts.

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.

Leave A Reply