The Inspector of General Government (IGG) has cleared a top health ministry official, Ronald Ssegawa Gyagenda, who had been interdicted over allegations of awarding a contract to his own company.
Justice Irene Mulyagonja noted that allegations against Gyagenda cannot be sustained and therefore recommended that his interdiction be lifted forthwith and that he be reinstated as the ministry’s Undersecretary/Accounting Officer.
A whistles blower had petitioned the IGG, alleging that Gyagenda, the undersecretary and accounting officer in the health ministry, awarded a contract to his own company, M.M Construction Limited, to offer services to the ministry.
But Mulyagonja said evidence from the Uganda Registration Services Bureau had proved that Gyagenda sold his shares in M.M Construction to one Jude Kasawuli on August 26, 2010.
“A notice was also filed to show that he ceased to be a director in the company. These transactions took place four years earlier than the activities for which the company (M.M Construction) was blacklisted by PPDA (Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority) on grounds of fraud,” Mulyagonja observed.
With regard to Buddu Broadcasting Services, the IGG said Gyagenda confirmed that he was a shareholder but that the Masaka-based radio station had been providing services to the health ministry since 2004, yet Gyagenda was appointed Undersecretary and Accounting Officer in May 2015 and July 2016 respectively.
Ssegawa had earlier admitted being a director to at Buddu Broadcasting Services but denied having any links with M.M Construction.
Mulyagonja wondered why the health ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Asuman Lukwago, took exception to the fact that Gyagenda wrote to the IGG defending himself against the allegations. The IGG noted that the same petition she received was copied to Lukwago.
“It is therefore indeed surprising that the permanent secretary finds fault in the Undersecretary for simply trying to defend himself and to the same authority to whom he was accused and for reflecting on the possible motives of his accusers,” she said.
Mulyagonja also found it surprising that Lukwago thought that he could deal with a complaint administratively in the health ministry without recourse to the inspectorate of government, adding that the matter was clearly outside his jurisdiction once it was filed with the IGG.
In her October 5 letter to the head of public service and secretary to cabinet, John Mitala, Mulyagonja said her office would not investigate Gyagenda and recommended that his interdiction be lifted.
As a result, Mitala wrote to the finance ministry concurring with the IGG and directed that Gyagenda be reinstated. In a letter dated October 6, the finance ministry wrote to Gyagenda reinstating him.