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Fire IGG Mwondha, MPs tell Museveni

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th April 2009 03:00 AM

MEMBERS of Parliament have told President Yoweri Museveni to drop his nomination for the reappointment of Justice Faith Mwondha as government ombudsman.

By Joyce Namutebi

MEMBERS of Parliament have told President Yoweri Museveni to drop his nomination for the reappointment of Justice Faith Mwondha as government ombudsman.

The MPs on the Appointments Committee, from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), who held a meeting with President Museveni at State House Nakasero on Thursday also stood their ground opposing the appointment of Kaliro district woman MP, Margaret Mbeiza as minister, sources said.

“We decided that the IGG cannot serve a second term because of the controversy she has caused,” the sources that attended the meeting said. The MPs questioned the IGG’s “work methods and incompatibility.”

On Mbeiza, the MPs told the President that he cannot appoint her to cabinet because she wouldn’t be able to “keep secrets,” sources said. They also questioned her moral character.

For a person to be appointed a minister, he or she must be either an MP or qualified to be an MP. According to the constitution, a person is qualified to be an MP if he is a Ugandan citizen, registered voter and has minimum academic qualification of Advanced school certificate.

But a person is not qualified to be MP if they are of unsound mind, a official of the electoral body, traditional ruler, bankrupt, sentenced to death, convicted or offence relating to dishonesty or electoral fraud.          

Museveni had invited NRM MPs who on the Appointments committee because he had received communication from the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Ssekandi about the committee’s decision and had wanted to get certain things right especially on the IGG, sources said yesterday.

“He noted that corruption has been a big problem in the country and that leaders should take the lead in fighting it.”
Sources also quoted Museveni as having said that he was happy with Mwondha because out of the three people who had held the position of IGG so far, Mwondha has been more hardworking. Museveni thought that may be she had been witch hunted.

The president said it is better to forget Mwondha as a person and look at the work she has been doing, the sources said adding that the President however noted that she has a character of quarrelling.

The sources also quoted the President as having said that he did not know that Mwondha had been dodging appearing before committees of Parliament. The MPs however informed him that Mwondha has never appeared before any committee, even to discuss her budget.

Museveni advised that in future they should review the law on the IGG.

“The Speaker has already written to the President. It is up to the President,” one MP summed up the matter.

Mwondha has refused to go for vetting although the President has advised her to do so. She argues that Parliament cleared her for the job when she was first appointed in 2005 and there was no need to repeat the exercise.  But her deputy, Raphael Baku has already aoppeared before the committee which cleared him.

Justice Mwondha says the power of her reappointment lies with the President and does not require parliamentary approval.

Mwondha instead sent a 16-page letter in which she accused Speaker Edward Ssekandi, the Principal Private Secretary to the President, Amelia Kyambadde and the Head of Public Service, John Mitala, of “unlawfully and unjustifiably” blocking her re-appointment. The letter was copied to the President.

She said she would continue to discharge her duties “without fear or favour” until the President gave her different instructions.

According to the Constitution, one who is of unsound mind, an official of the electoral body, traditional ruler, bankrupt, sentenced to death, convicted or offence relating to dishonesty or electoral fraud does not qualify.

Museveni had invited NRM MPs on the appointments committee because he had received communication from the Speaker Edward Ssekandi about the committee’s decision and wanted to get certain things right especially on the IGG, sources said on Thursday.

“He noted that corruption has been a big problem in the country and that leaders should take the lead in fighting it.”

Sources also quoted Museveni saying he was happy with Mwondha (above) because she was more hard working than her predecessors. Museveni thought that may be she had been witch hunted.

The president said it was better to forget Mwondha as a person and look at the work she had done, the sources said, adding that the President however noted that she has a character of quarrelling.

The President, the sources added, said he never knew that Mwondha had been dodging Parliament. Museveni advised that in future they should review the law on the IGG.

Mwondha has refused to go for vetting despite the President's advice to do so.

Fire IGG Mwondha, MPs tell Museveni

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