By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Mrs Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi seems her jail doors are widely opening following scandals that she allegedly initiated using powers of her position resulting into over 25 corruption-related cases.
Day after city businessman Rajiv Ruparelia came out and dismissed rumours that have since been circulated allegedly by Ntambi’s camp to cover on her ‘rotten acts’ over woes reportedly resulting from a business deal that went bad between her and Rajiv, TheSpy Uganda has learnt that the anti-Corruption Court issued a criminal summons to her, to answer a couple of corruption charges.
According to the charge sheet presented before the court in Kololo, Ms Ntambi now joins nine senior officials from the same commission over same cases who were charged last year and later released on bail.
The charge sheet states that the officials are struggling with 25 corruption-related cases ranging from causing financial loss, conspiracy to defraud, embezzlement, corruption and abuse of office.
Ms Ntambi was not present in court when the charge sheet was read as she was reportedly away in Mbale and Kumi districts on official duty hence being represented by her lawyer, Mr Hanan Kaggwa.
Meanwhile, this stirred Court presided over by Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu Ocaya to issue a criminal summons for her to appear on September 30, 2020, to plead to the charges.
The chief government prosecutor presented to magistrate Lamunu that Ms Ntambi’s negligence led to gross mismanagement of the commission’s funds between July 2018 and April 2019.
Who Are Her Co-Accused?
Her co-accused are Ms Agnes Enid Kamahoro, 48, the senior personal secretary, Mr Moses Mugabe, 38, a senior monitoring and evaluation officer, Mr Mujuni Mpitsi, 49, secretary, Ms Harriet Byangire, 37, a senior accountant, Mr Ronnie Kwesiga, 33, acting accounts assistant, Mr Evans Jjemba, 35, principal compliance officer, Mr Manasseh Kwihangana, 39, a senior compliance officer.
Others are Ms Sarah Nassanga, 43, an office attendant and Mr Nicholas Sunday Olwor, 51, an undersecretary.
Background Of The Case
Ms Ntambi, Ms Kamahoro and Mr Mpitsi between January 6, 2019, and April 30, 2019, allegedly conspired to defraud the government of more than Shs9m. Under the charge of abuse of office, Mr Mugabe, Mr Mpitsi and Mr Kwihangana are accused of abusing their authority when they fraudulently processed, requisitioned and approved Shs29m in January last year purportedly for undertaking sensitisation programmes in Karamoja Sub-region whereas not.
In a separate count, Ms Kamahoro, Mr Mpitsi, and Mr Olwor in December 2018, allegedly processed, requisitioned and approved Shs19m purportedly for development of the first and second draft of Equal Opportunities Commission HIV/Aids workplace policy, knowing their acts would cause government a financial loss.
These follow whistle-blower’s dossier sent to President Yoweri Museveni detailing all the scandalous acts Sylvia Ntambi has allegedly committed during her tenure at the commission.
According to the dossier seen by TheSpy Uganda, Ntambi is accused among other allegations of promoting tribalism at the Commission causing government losses through dubious travel expenses and allowances, mismanaging the Commission by running it as if it is her own business, to mention but a few.
Here below are some of the accusations lodged by the Whistleblower whose petition we’ve learnt has since been received by the President
Diversion Of Commission’s Funds
The Petition states in part that; “The Chairperson has created more expenditure lines outside the approved budget so-called ‘Public Relations (PR)’ since the start of this FY 2018/2019. The Chairperson introduced this mischarge at the start of quarter one directing the collection of UGX100 million which they had approved in the Commission meeting.
The allocation had not been approved by the Finance Committee because it was not part of the approved work plans and budget.
The said funds were to work as a kickback to stakeholders who had approved our budget for the year 2018/19; The same said funds were paid and collected through individual staff bank accounts. Later the same funds were handed over to the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Muwebwa Ntambi Sylvia.
This act continued during Q2 and Q3 in which the fund was increased to UGX150 million.
Evidence of Q3 collections indicating the individual employees to whom the funds were sent is as follows:
Prof. Sunday Nicholas Olwor – 14 million, Kamahoro Enid – 13 million, Nassanga Sarah – 5 million Atukunda Susan – 6 million, Mugisha James – 12 million, Kwesiga Ronnie – 12 million, Kwihangana Manasseh – 13 million, Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi – 13 million.
The above collections relate only to Q3 of FY 2018/19. The hinds were collected, handed over to the Chairperson on 7th March 2019 at Kampala International University – Kansanga between 5/6 pm or thereabouts.”
The whistleblower asserts that this diversion denied the Commission an opportunity to implement activities as per the approved work plan and budget in favour of Public Relations costs which were never provided for.
“It is obvious that this act of diversion was meant for self-enrichment by Ms Sylvia Ntambi, the Chairperson. This has subsequently caused budget under-performance and a breach of contract with the appropriating body and the public,” the petitioner continues.