Even after President Museveni dissolved Cupboard on Might 12, a piece of ministers stay in workplaces.
Whereas addressing a information convention on the weekend, ICT and nationwide steerage minister Judith Nabakooba mentioned ministers proceed performing their duties till formally stopped whilst authorized minds described their actions as unlawful and warned of “dire penalties”.
“What has been going down is that they appoint and we hand over. What we’re ready for is the appointment. If there’s any want for steerage, the Lawyer Common or Prime Minister will information us formally, however as of now, I’ll nonetheless proceed with my function of informing the general public,” minister Nabakooba mentioned.
“I can’t go away that vacuum, we have not obtained any written directive however as soon as we obtain it, then we will undoubtedly should comply,” she added.
Deputy Lawyer Common Jackson Kafuuzi, nonetheless, gave a authorized opinion that contradicts minister Nabakooba’s briefing.
Mr Kafuuzi instructed Each day Monitor yesterday that after the time period of workplace of Cupboard expires, the ministers ought to look forward to a brief instrument if they’re to proceed working, in any other case, their continued keep quantities to an illegality.
“Ideally talking, except the President points an instrument of short-term extension of our keep in workplace, which he has been issuing previously, allowing ministers to do official work within the absence of the identical instrument, the everlasting secretaries ought to as an alternative be doing the ministers’ work now. We are able to solely stay in workplace to carry conferences however can’t signal statutory contracts that bind the ministry and may be challenged in workplace,” Mr Kafuuzi mentioned by phone yesterday.
“There’s a loophole in our Structure about our transition. We’re fortunate it’s the similar President, how about if it was a brand new President? A few of my colleagues should not comfy with them being out of workplace however that’s the place of the regulation,” he added.
The deputy chief authorities authorized adviser additionally revealed that they’ve since written to the Prime Minister in regards to the expiry of Cupboard.
He added that core to their prayers is for a brief instrument to increase the Cupboard’s time period of workplace as they look forward to the brand new devices of appointment.
“I’ve been arguing with a few of my colleague ministers that if the Cupboard was dissolved and we’re not holding conferences as ministers, so why are we insisting that we’re nonetheless in workplace legally? So apparently, we’re in workplace simply to clear our desks as we await for the announcement,” Mr Kafuuzi mentioned.
President Museveni, who sworn in for the sixth elective time period final week, is predicted to nominate a brand new Cupboard any time from now after the earlier Cupboard tenure expired on Might 12.
It’s upon this backdrop that metropolis lawyer Hassan Male Mabirizi has since instituted a personal prosecution towards 4 ministers for allegedly persevering with to work regardless of their time period of workplace expiring final week.
The ministers within the highlight are; Matia Kasaija (Finance), Edward Katumba Wamala (Works), Jeje Odongo (Inside Affairs) and Benny Namugwanya (Kampala Affairs).
In his affidavit, Mr Mabirizi argues that on Might 12, the five-year time period of the final Cupboard expired and that accordingly, all ministers’ workplaces turned vacant.
He provides that Gen Katumba on Might 14, held a press convention on the Uganda Media Centre, impersonating the minister of Works and Transport.
Mr Mabirizi additionally accuses Mr Kasaija of getting spoken within the capability of Finance minister on the similar media briefing but he was not holding the identical place.
Mr Mabirizi accuses Ms Namugwanya of getting held a press convention on Might 14, whereby she allegedly impersonated Kampala Affairs minister and gave updates on the swearing-in of latest Kampala Capital Metropolis Authority elected leaders.
Gen Odongo’s case is that he officiated on the taking of workplace of the brand new govt director of the Nationwide Identification and Registration Authority.
“I do know that the above represent offenses of impersonation, opposite to Part 381 (1) of the Penal Code for which the accused needs to be charged,” Mr Mabirizi argues.
He provides: “The mentioned offenses had been dedicated in Kampala, throughout the legal geographical jurisdiction of this courtroom. I affirm to this affidavit in assist of a criticism towards the accused (the 4 ministers) in order that warrants of arrest are issued and the accused prosecuted for the alleged offenses.”
When contacted, Gen Katumba and Ms Namugwanya laughed off the matter. Additionally they denied being in workplace following the expiry of the Cupboard.
“I’m not even conscious that Mabirizi has instituted personal prosecution proceedings towards me. I believe Mabirizi simply likes the identify Katumba. I’m dwelling ready for the swearing-in at Parliament on Thursday,” Gen Katumba mentioned in a phone interview yesterday.
“On this transition interval, I can work if the President calls me and provides me directions however as per now, I’m dwelling not doing any official work,” he added.
Likewise, minister Namugwanya mentioned: “Who instructed you that I’m in workplace working? I’m dwelling having fun with my vacation after working continuous for 10 years. I’ve since cleared my desk and ready for the matching orders.”
Authorized specialists weigh in
Constitutional lawyer Michael Aboneka defined that the Structure isn’t clear on when the tenure of the ministers expires, aside from them resigning or dying, which means their tenure expires additionally when that of their appointing authority does so.
“Now till a brand new Cupboard is appointed, they (outdated ministers) are speculated to return all of the Cupboard paperwork and hand them over to everlasting secretaries. Ideally, that’s the reason now we have everlasting secretaries who proceed to work since they don’t seem to be politicians,” Mr Aboneka mentioned in a phone interview yesterday.
“Now there’s a new authorities, with the principal who is meant to both renew the time period of the outdated ministers or appoint new ones. Subsequently, no matter, the ministers do now with out full devices of appointment is a nullity,” he added.
Shadow legal professional basic Wilfred Niwagaba had related ideas.
“Their time period of workplace expired beneath the federal government they had been appointed. In order they’re performing illegally and unconstitutionally,” Mr Niwagaba mentioned.
Constitutional lawyer Peter Walubiri mentioned if there’s a formal dissolution of Cupboard, then the ministers are in workplace illegally.
“Since their service isn’t regulated by any regulation, as lengthy they proceed sitting in workplace, guarded by a police officer, pushed in huge vehicles, their selections are nonetheless binding,” Mr Walubiri mentioned.
The president of the Uganda Regulation Society, Ms Pheona Wall Nabasa, quite the opposite, mentioned to be able to keep away from a vacuum in political management, the ministers ought to proceed being in workplace.
Nevertheless, she was fast to warn the outgoing ministers: “Don’t signal statutory devices that may be challenged in courtroom”.
Likewise, Mr Elison Karuhanga, a personal lawyer from Kampala Related Advocates, defined that in the course of the transition interval, ministers ought to primarily be making ready handover documentation.
“Actually, the federal government can’t be left to function in a vacuum. Ministers ought to primarily be making ready handovers. It’s advisable that legally-binding selections throughout this era are prevented, in any other case, it will possibly trigger authorized challenges.”