WHAT THE IGG INDICTMENT COULD COST DR. NASSALI
By Mulengera Reporters
In what many perceived as unusual, the IGG Irene Mulyagonja (who has always been faulted for failing to tackle big fish) today Thursday mid-morning tweeted announcing the harvesting of Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago formerly a very powerful PS at the Education Ministry. Since being herded out of the Education Ministry amidst donor outcry that standards and performance had badly deteriorated at Embassy House, Nassali has quietly been serving as the PS for Judicial Service Commission (JSC), an obscure docket where Museveni dumped her after the Education Ministry fiasco. By the time she was relocated, several donors had protested underperformance of the sector by freezing funding. World Bank was among the angriest.
This is what Mulyagonja posted as Nassali and others were being prepared for arraignment at the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo: “IG arrests Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago, Secretary Judicial Service Commission, Dr. Opio Okiror former Commissioner Health Services and Mr. Cuthbert Kagabo, Deputy Director AH Consulting Ltd. Charges include causing financial loss & abuse of office.” A subsequent report in Chimpreports indicated Nassali’s woes relate to some of the expenditure decisions she made when still serving at the Education Ministry.
WHAT’S @ STAKE?
This development is coming at a time when Public Service bosses had just reluctantly endorsed her wish to have her contract as accounting officer/PS renewed. Earlier in the week, Public Service had written to the President advising she is suitable for contract renewal to continue serving as PS/accounting officer.
Some had advised the President to find somewhere else to deploy his favorite cadre Nassali but not in public service anymore because in the two places she has worked so far, colleagues have loathed her implying she can’t manage people.
The President, sources say, had opted to ignore all that and redeploy Nassali back at JSC. As he considered communicating his decision, the big man got a strongly-worded dossier from the Commissioners of JSC unanimously saying they aren’t prepared to have her back.
They pleaded with the President to give them any other person but not Nassali. Why? They indicated in their dossier that Nassali had been a very hard person through all this period and that much more accomplishments would have been realized if they had a more prudent PS.
She was accused of being anti-authority on top of always dragging her feet when given assignments by her bosses at JSC. Incidentally at Education, supervisors like Jessica Alupo considered Nassali complicated over similar concerns.
The JSC Commissioners indicated to the President they can’t afford having a PS who frustrates work and attributed some of this hostility to the possibility that Nassali didn’t fully appreciate the uniqueness of JSC as something different from other dockets. As PS, she is also secretary to the Commission meetings which is why her being complicated hurt work from time to time.
In writing their stinging dossier, the JSC bosses must have been emboldened by the fact that even political leaders at Justice Ministry including Gen Otafire don’t consider Nassali someone they can do business with anymore.
She rubbed Gen Otafire the hard way sometime last year when she refused to effect an increment in the remuneration of Commissioners even after Parliament, the President and Court had directed the same. In the end, two of the aggrieved Commissioners referred the matter to court which compelled Nassali to pay them even the arrears.
What must have hit Nassali hardest was the isolation she endured when Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, ideally expected to defend government, swore an affidavit supporting the two JSC Commissioners who were suing her as accounting officer for refusing to effect their remuneration increment.
The latest indictments by IGG totally obliterates whatever hopes Dr. Nassali still had at resuming her duties at MacKinnon Road-based JSC. (For comments, call, text us on 0703164755 or firstname.lastname@example.org).