The fate of the job of Equal Opportunities Commission Chairperson Sylvia Ntambi Muwebwa lies in the hands of the President.
The Director of Public Prosecutions recently wrote to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development under whose supervision EOC lies, advising him to interdict Ntambi, to pave way for her prosecution over corruption and abuse of office without her interference.
However, the Gender Ministry PS Aggrey David Kibenge wrote to the Solicitor General asking for legal advice before interdicting Ntambi, who is now committed to the High Court to face trial.
In a response letter dated December 2 and signed by H. Tukamushaba, the Solicitor General advises the Gender PS to bring the matter to the attention of the line Minister who will in turn inform the President for the final decision on whether to interdict Ntambi or not.
The Solicitor General’s reasoning is that Ntambi is a presidential appointee and not a public servant.
“Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi is not appointed by the Public Service Commission but by the President, who also has the authority to revoke her appointment according to Section 6 of the Equal Opportunities Commission Act,” the Solicitor General’s letter reads in part.
“By virtue of Section 24 of the Interpretation Act Cap3, it is the President, him being Ms Muwebwa Ntambi’s appointing authority, to suspend, re-appoint or re-instate her as part of his power of appointment,” he adds.
“Therefore, in response to your question, our opinion is that the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development does not have the power or mandate to interdict Ms Sylvia Muwebwa Ntambi. Accordingly, we advise that you bring the matter to the attention of the supervising minister (Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development) so that he may in turn bring it to the attention of the President for the requisite action,” he concludes.
Ntambi skipped court on several occasions when she was summoned for hearing by the Anti-Corruption Court. When she finally appeared on October 29, she was remanded to Kigo Prison until she was granted bail on her next hearing. She was committed to the High Court to face trial and her travel documents are in the custody of court.
Ntambi is co-accused with nine other members of her commission.