By our reporter
Kigulu County South Member of Parliament, Andrew Kaluya has asked the concerned government agencies to investigate and take action against the chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi for allegedly evading court summons.
The MP’s intervention comes fourteen days after the Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ocaya gave Ntambi one last chance to appear in court or face arrest and stand trial on charges of causing financial loss, embezzlement, corruption, abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud.
Through her lawyers led by McDusman Kabega, Mrs. Ntambi adduced medical forms indicating that she is sick and therefore she couldn’t attend Court proceedings. She further presented a letter from her doctor at Medik Hospital Kawempe confirming that she is suffering from hypertensive crisis. However investigative journalists visited the hospital and were shocked to learn that Mrs. Ntambi has never been admitted there.
In a letter dated October 19th to the State House Anti-corruption Unit led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, MP Kaluya states that Ntambi has openly abused and insulted the courts of law, a situation which calls for the Director of Public Prosecutions to (DPP) to investigate whether she is actually sick like she claims or not.
“We propose that concerned state agencies like the police and State House Anti-Corruption Unit should support the DPP’s office to expeditiously investigate this matter to enable the Chief Magistrate make an informed decision. The video clip captured by investigative journalists at Medik Hospital in Kawempe gives a clue,” reads part of the letter.
He adds that the directors of Medik Hospital must exhibit professionalism by telling Ugandans how the embattled chairperson acquired documents purportedly issued by their health facility. “This needs to be urgently investigated and findings submitted to court.” Kaluya adds.
Ntambi is expected to appear in Court on October 29, on criminal summons to answer charges in regard to misappropriation of millions of taxpayers.
The charging of Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi and nine others follows 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 Shs200 million through termination of workers contracts and forcing workers to resign and replace them with her relatives and friends.
Since she took over the chairperson-ship of the commission, the whistleblower said Mrs Ntambi has 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 passing of the commission budget in 2018/19.
She is 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 is said that she illegally recruited Betty Namazzi, Juma Waira and Petau Isabirye Babirye.
The whistleblower also revealed that the Ag commissioner Jjemba Evans holds two offices as the head of department of compliance and enforcement and research, monitoring and evaluation.