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Museveni directs new ministers to fight corruption

State Minister for ICT and communication Peter Ogwang being sworn in. PHOTOS PPU

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN |  President Yoweri Museveni has warned newly appointed ministers against corruption.

“Congratulations to the new ministers that have taken oath of office today at State House Entebbe. I call upon all ministers and public servants to desist from engaging in any form of corruption,” Museveni said at the brief ceremony at State House Entebbe today.

He added that, “corruption by any government officials is a great betrayal to Ugandans who are desperately yearning for service delivery. I implore the general public to embrace this fight and report the crooked officials with evidence, as opposed to rumours and we will take action.”

He said that the coming National Conference, he will provide an audit of the 23 guidelines that he put forward at the start of this term in office.

The eight sworn in today are Raphael Magyezi, the Igara East MP who was appointed Minister of Local Government, Judith Nabakooba, the Mityana Woman MP and former Police Spokesperson who was appointed Minister for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT),  Molly Kamukama, the Minister of State for Economic Monitoring, and Denis Hamson Obua, the Minister of State for Sports.

ICT Minister Nabakooba

The others are Robinah Nabbanja, the incoming Minister of Health for General Duties, incoming State Minister for ICT and communication Peter Ogwang, State Minister for Environment Beatrice Anywar and Minister for State for Fisheries Helen Adoa.

URN has learnt that  Robinah Nabbanja was cleared despite earlier reports that she had been turned down by the appointments committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga. The Committee had allegedly pointed out inconsistencies in her academic documents.

This implies that only Jackson Kafuuzi, the designate Deputy Attorney General has been left out as the appointees take up their new offices. Kafuuzi had been appointed Deputy Attorney General to take on a position hitherto occupied by Mwesigwa Rukutana.

However, Kafuuzi, the Kyaka South MP was ejected by the appointment committee of Parliament on condition that he does not have the relevant experience for the appointment. According to the Ugandan Constitution, a person shall not be qualified to be appointed Deputy Attorney General unless he or she is qualified to practice as an advocate of the High Court and has practised or gained the necessary experience for not less than seven years.

But Kafuuzi failed to prove to the vetting committee that he has seven years of experience as an an advocate of the High Court. URN has since independently verified that Kafuuzi last renewed his practising certificate as an advocate for the High court in 2015.

FILE PHOTO: Jackson Kafuuzi

Kafuuzi graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University in 2002 and obtained Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in 2003. From that time, he has been in service as a Legal Officer and later as an Advocate at Rwakafuuzi & Co. Advocates, until 2016 when he joined parliament.

However, Kafuuzi only acquired his first practising certificate in 2012 which allowed him to only practice as an advocate in the Magistrates Court.  His second practising certificate was issued in October 2013, allowing him to start practice as a High Court advocate. Advocates certificates are renewed on an annual basis.

He last renewed his certificate of practice on April 22, 2015, slightly over three years after enrolling as an advocate on January 18, 2012, according to the roll of advocates posted on the Judiciary Website http://judiciary.go.ug/data/ladvocates/

This means that if he had renewed his certificate annually even while in Parliament, he would be eligible for the position of Deputy Attorney General by October 2020, after hitting 7 years, as an advocate of the High Court. The High Court Experience begins to count upon receipt of the second certificate of practice.

URN has however learnt that the Judiciary has compiled details on Kafuuzi’s experience and forwarded it to Parliament for further scrutiny.

 

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