By Spy Uganda
Kampala: An old adage goes that….’you can run all the time, but you can’t hide all the time..’ That adage suites well with Ms. Sylvia Ntambi Muwebwa, the Executive Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).
As a result, she was remanded until November 4, 2020 when she will be allowed to apply for bail .
Ntambi is battling with 29 counts including; causing financial loss, embezzlement, corruption, abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud among others. Appearing before the court, Ntambi pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Meanwhile, Ntambi had come with sureties Patricia Nambi of FOWODE and Julius Mukunda of CSBAG, whom magistrate Lamunu grilled for acting as employees of the above organizations without identity cards hence trashing Muwebwa’s bail application where they sought to stand for her.
Background Of The Case
It’s alleged that, Ntambi, Kamahoro and 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, Mugabe, Mpitsi and Kwihangana are accused of abusing their authority when they fraudulently processed, requisitioned and approved Shs29m in January last year purportedly for undertaking sensitization 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.
According to the dossier addressed to the President 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.
Diversion Of Commission’s Funds
The dossier states in part; “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 favor 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.