KAMPALA – Uganda: Pandemonium unfolded on the fourth floor of the Parliamentary Complex on Friday, when a prominent member of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) launched a brazen attempt to interfere in an ongoing corruption investigation! The Investigator can exclusively report about this unprecedented incident.
Our sources at the scene recounted the dramatic events as Hajji Habib Sseruwagi reportedly stormed the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU) offices, an entity headed by the formidable Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke, under the pretext of “rescuing” his colleague, the Head of Human Resource Management at EOC, from being questioned about alleged corrupt practices at the commission.
For starters, it’s prudent to understand the core mission of EOC. Established by an Act of Parliament on July 6th 2010, EOC officially commenced its operations on July 8th 2010. The commission is mandated to enforce the Constitutional mandate aiming to eradicate discrimination and inequalities based on various grounds, including sex, age, race, ethnicity, religion, health, social or economic status, political opinion, and disability.
EOC is also tasked with taking affirmative action to address historical imbalances affecting hitherto marginalized groups, such as gender, age, and disability, among others. However, if we are to go with the current situation, EOC is at the center of promoting an A-Class tribe of discrimination, nepotism and corruption of all tribes and hence, the ongoing investigations.
The shocking turn of events leading to the said investigation can quickly be traced back to an internal memo recently, regarding staff recruitment within EOC. In most government parastatals, such memos provide opportunities for existing staff, civil servants, or individuals from other government entities to apply for vacant positions.
Indeed, this particular memo suggests the same as it reads thus; “The commission in its commission meeting that was held on 11th April 2023, approved advertising of vacant positions through an internal advert for a number of positions. The purpose of this memo therefore is twofold; One, to inform you that the internal advert with job descriptions and personal specifications have been uploaded on the Commission website for access by all staff. Two, to inform all applicants with the required qualifications to submit their application forms through their supervisors and departmental heads to the Secretary to the Commission for further action.”
However, for reasons best known to the concerned administrators there, it is evident that EOC are operating in total independence of, not only their own internal memo, but the constitutional mandate in entirety! A whistleblower report received at SHACU, and whose details we have had a glance at, suggests rampant nepotism within the commission.
Disturbingly, it is alleged that the Secretary to the Commission, Dr. Shaft Nasser Mukwaya, has appointed his own daughter, Zubeda Nansamba, to a high-ranking position of a Senior Education Office! Further revelations implicate the Commission Chairperson, Hajjat Sofia Nalule Juuko, who is accused of influencing the recruitment of her close relatives into key positions. These include her son Charles Derrick Ssembatya, now a Research Officer, her daughter Caroline Nakayemba, a receptionist, and another individual, reportedly named Kakande.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, it is claimed that a significant number of top positions at EOC are currently occupied by individuals of the same religious faith. Furthermore, it is strongly alleged, each member of the EOC Board was given the green light to add at least one person to the new staff list.
For instance, Nancy Maureen Prima, who was appointed as office attendant, and Aber Vanessa, the new Legal Officer, are related to Vice Chair, Cox Joel Ojuko. Moses Sande Kalyango, the Principal Compliance Officer, was revealed to be the younger brother of Hajji Habib Sseruwagi. This one had, and still has no prior experience in the field. This appointment raised eyebrows, especially since a qualified senior compliance officer with the required qualifications had applied through the internal advertisement process.
Other new recruits, Beatrice Neumbe, the Human Resource Officer, and John Peter Sasaga, the Education Officer, are reported close relatives to the Commission Member, Hon. Sr. Mary Wasagali. The web of connections is extended to various departments away from Legal, Research, and Administration!
As if the above is not scandalous enough, even when the internal memo was restricting recruitments to only insiders, most of the new staff members were externally drown. These include Moses Sande Kalyango, Dorothy Nalule, the new Senior Personal Secretary and Saumu Bukenya, the Records Assistant. Others are; Dennis Sserwanja, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Zubeda Nansamba, and Brenda Nandutu, the appointed Social Worker.
Despondently, reads the whistleblowers’ missive, most of these favored recruits replaced competent and qualified members of staff who were unfairly thrown out after three years of volunteering with the Commission. These include among others, Brian Tumukunde, an Economist, Jamaimah Namugga, a Compliance Officer, Rodha Naddumba, a Compliance Officer, Justus Kato, a Legal Officer, Joseph Kakinda, a Legal Officer and, Lytton Kiwanuka, a Research Officer.
Our reliable sources at SHACU confirmed that despite Hajji Habib Sseruwagi’s attempts to disrupt the investigation, it is progressing steadily. Among the other lines of inquiry is the alleged irregular salary and wages` hikes, where members of the Commission purportedly increased their allowances from UGX12M to a staggering UGX25M each. This stance, without approval of the line ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Finance and, or sanction by Parliament!
This development is traced to reports pointing at the warped way the Secretary himself, was underhandedly recruited. A serious allegation has it that at the peak of selecting the EOC Secretary, a shrewd Commissioner instigated a call, supposedly from the switchboard of the powers that be! This call was ordering for outright placement of the person of the current Secretary to the Commission, hence showcasing the glaring abuse of authority in Country Uganda.
And because of this crooked way he was supposedly recruited, the Secretary is believed to be ransomed! And since their budget is not elastic, he was supposedly ordered by the all-powerful commission members to chop the Secretariate Staff allowances, and hence, find the extra dimes to raise theirs to the tune of UGX25M, shooting from the UGX12M.
In a bid to verify these strong allegations, The Investigator successfully sought out Hajj Habib Sseruwagi who. The son of Nyamitanga confirmed how 60% of the same were utter truth, but that, the 40% is just a case of proper explanation of the same. Flanked by the Commission`s Communication Officer Yusuf Muziransa at Kingdom Kampala-premised Noor`s Restaurant earlier today, Sseruwagi confirmed the ongoing probe at their facility. In the 47-minute interaction with this writer, the narrated the story at length. Watch this space…
- Stanley Ndawula is a two and a half decades’ seasoned investigative journalist with a knack for serious crimes investigations and reporting. He’s the Founding Editorial Director and CEO at The Investigator Publications (U) Limited
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