Another Scandal! Ministry Of Trade’s PS Geraldine Ssali On Spot For Assaulting Legal Officer

Another Scandal! Ministry Of Trade’s PS Geraldine Ssali On Spot For Assaulting Legal Officer

By Spy Uganda

Kampala; Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Geraldine Ssali, is currently at the center of another controversy after she allegedly physically assaulted her junior staff member who has since dragged her to Police for further investigations.

According to sources at Farmers’ House which houses the troubled trade Ministry, Ssali allegedly slapped Sandra Aneno Karen, the Head of Legal Department at the Ministry, on Friday, April 5, 2024.

However, in a turn of events, Ssali has instead interdicted Aneno with immediate effect accusing her of unbecoming behavior, assault and using abusive language against her (Ssali).

”As you are well aware, this afternoon in the execution of my normal duties as a Permanent Secretary and Accounting Officer and while issuing you with instructions, you exhibited Gross unbecoming behavior such as, using abusive language against me, assaulting, threatening me, throwing items at me, and insubordination which is irregular for a Public Officer of your caliber” Ssali said in her letter to Aneno.

”Your actions were in total disregard of the provisions of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2021 Section F-r Para. 1. As laid out in Section F-r Para in 4 and 5 (a). (b), (c), (d), (e. (1). (k). (t) and 7(a) those actions constitute to Gross-Misconduct. You are hence forth interdicted from duty with immediate effect in accordance with sect. F-S para 14 of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2021” she added.

According to Ssali, Aneno is not permitted to leave the country without express permission from the responsible officer and must not appear at the office premises except if required on matters relating to the case which she has been interdicted for.

Ssali’s Letter To Aneno

While investigations are still ongoing, sources on ground revealed that the confrontation came after Aneno handed over office to the staff attached to the new trade state minister, Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, who took over from Harriet Ntabazi in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Subsequently, Aneno had relocated to another office which is said to have been booked by Ssali for the staff under her, on learning about the development, Ssali rushed to the said office and ordered Aneno to leave and she complied, however, while she was packing her books to vacated the office, Ssali allegedly slapped her and matters escalated into a fight.

Following the assault, Aneno filed a case at Kampala Central Police Station which was confirmed by Kampala Metropolitan deputy spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire saying that she was receiving treatment.

The Bitter Relationship

The frosty relationship between the two co-workers began last year when Aneno raised concerns about scandals of financial management and corruption at the Ministry involving Ssali as the accounting officer.

The scandals saw the two exchange words before the Committee on Trade and Tourism chaired by Mwine Mpaka who faulted the Ministry for failing to lodge a complaint or furnish information to both the Inspectorate of Government and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) with the intent of prosecuting Ssali and several officials named in the three corruption scandals at the Ministry of Trade.

During the hearing, the Committee also established that Shs 8bn for rent of new office premises was instead utilized for renovation of office premises for the Ministry at Farmer’s House as opposed to the purpose for which the same Ministry had requested for the supplementary.

The House committee also discovered that the draft contract for renovation works at Farmer’s House was witnessed by Mr. Mutegeki David (Legal Officer). 

The Committee was found that there actually exists a head of Legal Services at MTIC, Sandra Anena who submitted to the Committee but Ssali prefers the services of Mr. Mutegeki David.

Ssali played out in the public when Parliament adopted recommendations in its report, calling for the sacking of Ssali over allegations of inflating the cost for renovation works on Farmers’ House.

Further sources suggest that Ssali wedged a war against Anena since the latter’s remarks before Parliament committee.

Following Parliament’s recommendations, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury, Ramadhan Ggoobi, went on to sack Ssali, but his actions were thwarted by President Museveni, who wrote ordering her reinstatement with immediate effect. an accessible web community

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