Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament’s Appointments committee has recommended for the replacement of Alice Kaboyo as Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister for Luweero Triangle-Rwenzori region.
The committee chaired by the Deputy Speaker Anita Among on Wednesday declined to approve the appointment of Kaboyo, a former State House aide who is among the 80 Ministers that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni appointed to serve in the cabinet on 8th June.
Kaboyo’s appointment was rejected by the committee basing on the June 2012 incident when the Anti-Corruption Court convicted her when she pleaded guilty to some of the counts in the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) case.
Kaboyo who was then co-accused with three former Health Ministers Jim Muhwezi, his deputies Mike Mukula and Dr. Alex Kamugisha, was sentenced to a fine of 20 million Shillings or an 8 year prison period. She chose to pay the 20 million fine.
Represented by late lawyer Bob Kasango, Kaboyo pleaded guilty to two counts of abuse of office and writing documents in the name of the former Private Principal Presidential Secretary, Amelia Kyambadde.
Court learnt that out of the 524 million Shillings allegedly advanced to Kaboyo to prepare advocacy conferences, she had already refunded 250 million. According to court records, Kaboyo was advanced the GAVI funds after she had resigned her post.
The presiding magistrate, Irene Akankwasa then sentenced Kaboyo to pay 5 million Shillings on each of the four counts or a prison term of two years on each count.
“This seemingly light sentence is justified because A4, now a convict has not wasted court’s time. In the case of default to pay the said sum, the convict will serve the sentences concurrently,” said Akankwasa.
The Anti-Corruption Act prohibits someone to serve in a public office for a period of 10 years upon conviction.
This is the provision that the committee based on to reject Kaboyo’s appointment as Minister according to sources.
Now according to another source who attended the meeting, on the fate of Kaboyo, the committee unanimously agreed to have her appointment rescinded based on her criminal history.
The source said that the committee made a recommendation to President Museveni that the Minister-designate be replaced by another person who doesn’t have a similar background like Kaboyo.
“The members were all convinced that since she was convicted, she cannot be in this office as a representative and an eye of the President. We have recommended that she should be replaced, and we think the president will listen to this,” said the source.
According to another MP, although Kaboyo was totally rejected, another option for Museveni is to bring the matter to the whole house if he wants to go that far.
“We totally rejected her, and only two members supported her, while 22 voted against her. So the only option the president has if he still wants her despite her recommendation is for her to be approved by the whole house and two-thirds are supposed to vote in her favor,” said another source.
On Jim Muhwezi whose name also came up in the committee, members observed that Muhwezi was exonerated by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), the courts among others. He says although it was the same case, one person was convicted while another was exonerated.
The committee concluded vetting and approved 77 Ministers, rejected one, while two Ministers designate are pending vetting due to poor health.