Parliamentary Appointments Committee rejects contract renewal of Uganda Prison boss Byabashaija over the Age limit
Contract renewal of the Commissioner-General of Prisons Dr Johnson Byabashaija together with Deputy James Mwangye has been halted by the Appointments Committee of Parliament because the two clocked mandatory age limit.
The Appointments Committee chaired by the Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga spent part of the day scrutinizing the newly appointed presidential nominees.
First was the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda (BoU), Dr Michael Atingo who had an interface with the Committee from his self-quarantine in Washington DC through teleconferencing.
He was followed by the Commissioner-General of Prisons, Col. Dr Johnson Byabashaija and later with his Deputy James Mwanje who were dropped because they reached the mandatory age limit of 60 years.
Addressing the media shortly after he departed from the Appointments Committee, Byabashaija said he was working hard to ensure that COVID-19 does not get into prisons.
“We have taken very serious measures and our main effort is one, to make sure that the virus doesn’t enter the prison. Because it’s only us who work there, who can introduce it (coronavirus) or new prisoners. But we’ve made sure that all the new prisoners don’t go into our prisons, our current prisons, we have isolation prisons for them like the new Kitalya prison, it’s handling all the new prisons from the Central region,” Byabashaija said.
Speaking about his vetting, Dr Byabashaija who is 62 years old beyond the mandatory age limit of public servants which is 60 years of age reasoned that being a contract job, the age issue means less.
“I have been in Prisons for long. This is my 15th year as Commissioner-General Prisons. I am 62 years; I work on three-year contracts. I retired from Public Service in 2005 and I have been working in Prisons since then, I think they will approve me,” Byabashaija said.
The Committee also rejected the Leadership Code Tribunal Code Chairperson nominee, Irene Karugonjo Segawa because she’s unqualified for the job. The Committee reasons that the position requires a judge or advocate of the High Court qualifications which she didn’t have.
Other dropped nominees include; Didas Bakunzi Mustasha, Joyce Nalunga Birimumaso and Jane Okelowange. As a result, Parliament will address the Judicial Service Commission, a body responsible for backing the nominees to nominate new people.
Approved was Asuman Kiyinhi as the Vice-Chairperson of the Tribunal and Dr Atingi-Ego as the Deputy Governor Bank of Uganda replacing Dr Louis Kasekende and now waiting Presidential confirmation.
The Committee also approved Justice Jane Frances Abodo as the new Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) replacing Mike Chibita.
“From the questions, members are just asking if am able under the office of the DPP and what are the gaps there, what are the challenges, I think basically that’s what they wanted and I could just see one thing, they just want the office to function,” Abodo said.
Parliament after rejecting some members resolved to write to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to nominate new members fit for the positions.