By Simon Abaho
Lawyer Male Mabirizi has dragged the government to court over the manner in which the new Permanent Secretaries and presidential advisors were appointed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni recently.
On July 15, President Museveni transferred several Permanent Secretaries in which economist Ramathan Ggoobi was appointed to the Ministry of Finance to replace Keith Muhakanizi, who was sent to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) whereas State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe was named the new Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet and Deborah Katuramu has been appointed as her deputy.
The changes also saw Jane Barekye appointed the new State House Comptroller whereas Alex Kakooza who had been in the Ministry of Education is now the Principal Private Secretary to the Vice President among others.
However, according to documents before the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala, the appointment of those Permanent Secretaries was done without the advice of the Public Service Commission and therefore was illegal.
“The appointment of Deborah Katuramu, as Deputy Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet, a position which does not legally exist and without acting in accordance with the advice of the Public Service Commission was illegal,” Mabirizi says.
The lawyer also says that it was illegal to name Dr.Kenneth Omona, the president’s Principal Private and Alex Kakooza as the Vice President’s Principal Private Secretary as Permanent Secretaries to non-existent government ministries or departments was also illegal and done without the advice of the Public Service Commission.
Mabirizi also says it was illegal for the president to appoint Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu and Maj Gen David Kasura , both serving UPDF officers as Permanent Secretaries for the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Agriculture respectively.
“The appointment of Dr. John Mitala, Mary Karooro Okurut, Odrek Rwabogo, Nakiwala Kiyingi, and Adonia Ayebare to new positions of Senior Presidential Advisor on Public Service, Senior Presidential Advisor on Public Relations, Senior Presidential Advisor on Special duties, Senior Presidential Advisor on Gender and Youth Affairs and Special Envoy and Ambassador to the United Nations, respectively, is illegal since the positions are not provided for under Ugandan law and without consulting the Public Service Commission,” Mabirizi says.
According to his documents, Mabirizi wants court to issue orders quashing President Museveni’s appointments for Permanent Secretaries and presidential advisors.
“The applicant seeks an order of prohibition prohibiting the group from holding the positions of Permanent Secretary and Presidential Advisors respectively.”