Luweero On the Spot Over Prolonged Interdiction of Staff

1720 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
Erasto Kibirango, a lawyer with Kwizera Mukisa and Company Advocates says such delays benefit the accused persons as they are overtaken by events as both the complainants and witness lose interest in the matter.

Luweero district is on the spot for violating the rights of four interdicted staff in breach of the Public Service standing orders. 

Section 8 ( b ) of the Public Service Standing Orders 2010 states that where an officer is interdicted, the Responsible Officer shall ensure that investigations are done within (three) 3 months for cases that do not involve the Police and Courts and 6 months for cases that involves the Police and Courts of Law.

However, in Luweero four interdicted officers have spent about one and half years on interdiction. They include Godfrey Ssegawa Mulegeya, the Chief Finance Officer and William Mbaziira, the Accounts Assistant in the Works and Technical Services department. The duo was interdicted in March 2015 for alleged embezzlement of more than 30 million Shillings.
The others are Safinah Nassali, an office attendant at Luweero district headquarters who was interdicted early this year for embezzling Shillings 13.8 million meant for the arrears of the former LC 5 Chairperson Abdul Nadduli and Bukuuma Parish chief who was accused of forging receipts and causing the district a loss of one million Shillings.
Christopher Oketayot, the Luweero Deputy Chief Administrative Officer admits that they have delayed to reinstate or take any disciplinary action against the accused staff because of delays by the Director of Public Prosecutions to dispose of their cases. He cites the case of the interdicted Chief Finance Officer, Godfrey Ssegawa who took advantage of the plea bargaining arrangement and returned Shillings 30 million but they can't take any action until the DPP disposes the case.

Oketayot says the district regrets the delay and has petitioned the DPP asking for guidance to proceed with the case. Ssegawa's accomplice William Mbaziira is also still on interdiction and has never appeared in court.  The DPP's office has not yet commented on the matter. On Safina Nassali, the former Office attendant, Oketayot says they are waiting for an internal audit report before they decide whether to submit her to the District Service Commission for disciplinary action.

Ronald Ndawula, the Luweero LC 5 Chairperson, says there is no District Service Commission to take action against the accused staff. He is worried that the delays may land the district into audit queries for paying the affected staff for no work done. None of the affected workers was willing to comment on their prolonged interdiction and whether or not they intend to seek redress.

Erasto Kibirango, a lawyer with Kwizera Mukisa and Company Advocates says such delays benefit the accused persons as they are overtaken by events as both the complainants and witness lose interest in the matter. He says in most cases both the local and Central governments lack commitment to penalize staff accused of embezzlement and many end up being reinstated.

Kibirango warns that Luweero district may lose more funds if the interdicted officers drag the local government to court for delayed justice, which violates their rights. In 2015, Nakaseke district reinstated Dr. Badru Ssesimba as the District Health Officer after he threatened to sue them over prolonged interdiction. Dr. Ssesimba was interdicted in 2013 for alleged fraud and abuse of office and is still facing trial before the Anti-Corruption Court 


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.