Lawyers have told the court that senior Police officer; Geoffrey Bangirana’s continued stay in office, despite the expiry of his contract, is illegal.
David Mushabe and Julius Kirya, the lawyers representing petitioner Isaac Maddo, submitted that it was illegal for Bangirana to act on behalf of the Government without a contract.
Maddo, a member of the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD), petitioned the high court, accusing Bangirana of refusing to vacate the office of the director engineering and logistics yet his two-year contract expired in July this year, an act he says is unlawful.
The lawyers made the submissions before the Civil Division of the High Court judge, Henrietta Wolayo this afternoon.
This application has high chances of success because there is no contract between Bangirana and the state,” Mushabe submitted.
Tasked by the judge to produce evidence, Mushabe referred to a letter written by Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Internal affairs, Benon Mutambi, which states Bangirana’s contract expired in July 2019.
“The letter does not state that Bangirana’s contract has been renewed. Therefore, taxpayers are paying someone, who is not on the Government payroll,” he submitted.
The Principal State Attorney, Josephine Kiyingi, opposed the application, saying it lacks merit, because Mutambi wrote a letter to the Police Authority, allowing Bangirana to stay in office, as they consider his contract.
David Mushabe (left). Photo by Jimmy Outa
Kiyingi also disclosed that Bangirana is still receiving a salary because he is still doing Police work.
“Following this development, this application is misconceived and I pray it is dismissed with costs,” she requested.
Kiyingi also requested the court to have Attorney General’s (AG) defence concerning the matter filed out of time. The court heard that the AG filed it's defence 24 days after the period had elapsed.
Court documents indicate that Bangirana has acted or worked as a police officer at the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) and Director Engineering and Logistics on a two years contract.
Following the expiry of his (Bangirana’s) contract on July 16, 2019, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochola ordered Bangirana to hand over the office, stating that his continued stay in office would raise several queries from the Public Service.
However, internal affairs PS, Mutambi directed the officer to remain in the office although his contract had expired. According to court documents, following Mutambi’s letter, Ochola reversed his.
Bangirana applied to have his two-year contract renewed again through the secretary of the Police Authority recently, but that has not yet been done.
Maddo says he filed the suit to vindicate the rule of law and get the unlawful conduct of Bangirana stopped.
He contends that Bangirana has continued to draw a salary and emoluments on the consolidated fund, which is public property and therefore it has to be preserved and protected from abuse and wastage.
Maddo claims that the defendants are transgressing the law in a way that offends him as a citizen and taxpayer. “I seek an order that the officer refunds all the salary and emoluments received while in office illegally.”
Maddo contends that the actions of the government in failing to advise the PS and other government organs constituted a breach of his duty.
Bangirana is also still under a probe by the Inspectorate of Government over allegations of mismanaging procurement deals.
The probe stems from a whistle blower's allegations to the inspectorate, including the purported inflation of the cost of construction of Natete Police Station, which caused a financial loss of over sh200b to the force through the supply of fuel to individuals and accumulation of the institution’s debts to more than sh100b.