Kashilingi, Naava, Tumukunde fired
President Yoweri Museveni has fired at least three close aides in a move seen as an effort to cleanse State House of tainted staff. Those sacked include two legal assistants implicated in corruption scandals and an advisor on science.
A reliable source at State House told Daily Monitor that Mr Museveni wrote to the Public Service Commission to communicate the termination of service of Ms Naava Nabagesera who was convicted in a foreign-jobs-for-cash scandal (kyeyo), Mr Hussein Kashilingi who allegedly solicited a commission from Dr Kasasa Buule after he helped him get compensation for his land from the government and Mr Ananius Tumukunde, a Presidential aide on science, who was last year arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport with a large sum of pounds.
The money was allegedly a bribe from a UK company he helped win a tender during the 2007 Kampala Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Chogm. Mr Kashilingi and Ms Nabagesera were legal aides and assistant legal aide to Museveni respectively. “The president two weeks ago wrote to the Public Service Commission informing them of his decision to terminate the services of his three aides, which action takes immediate effect,” the source told Daily Monitor.
Mr Tumukunde’s fate stems from his arrest in April last year at Heathrow Airport by the British government with over a £160,000 (about Shs296 million) bribe he solicited from CBRN Team Ltd, a British company. The bribe was allegedly payment for his services in helping the company to sign a £420,000 deal with the government to supply security equipment to the Presidential Guard Brigade used for the Chogm 2007.
The British High Commission handed the money that was recovered from Mr Tumukunde to the Inspector General of Government, Justice Faith Mwondha, late last year.
When contacted, the President’s Press Secretary, Mr Tamale Mirundi, told Daily Monitor that he had heard about the letter to the Service Commission but had not seen it himself. He declined to give details. “All I can tell you is that at the new year’s party hosted for State House employees, the President gave a strong warning to State House employees to desist from bribery acts or risk being fired and executed. The President emphasised that State House is a blessed place which we should feel proud of because it is a command post where everything originates and it should be bribery-free,” Mr Tamale said.
Mr Tamale boasted of a recent effort to weed State House of corrupt officials and impersonators. He said his office was recently equipped with Shs500 million, part of which will be used to pay whistleblowers and pay for newspaper and other media space to expose the wrong elements. He said his work to expose impersonators had already started with the exposure of a one Hakeem Asiimwe Lukenge whose photograph was published in various newspapers as a State House impersonator. “Lukenge is just one of the many impersonators to be exposed and if the Shs500 million gets finished on this project, I will request for more. Even those acquitted by court but politically damaged will not be spared because acquittals do not restore one’s dignity politically,” added Mr Tamale.
Mr Kashilingi was charged but later acquitted of allegedly demanding Shs160 million from Dr Kasasa whom he allegedly helped get compensation for his land at Kinawataka.
Ms Nabagesera’s woes began when the former Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Margaret Tibulya convicted her on May 8 last year for obtaining money by false pretence. Ms Nabagesera paid Shs1.4 million fine and escaped being jailed for one year, which was the alternative punishment.
The court also ordered her to pay Shs15.2 million as compensation to a dozen victims who had paid her money after she promised to get for them jobs in Europe and Asia. She claimed she was working at a special desk in the President’s office that was linking job seekers to potential jobs.
Before her appointment as a presidential assistant for legal affairs, Ms Nabagesera served as resident district commissioner in Bugiri, Jinja and Kayunga. She is also a former wife to Kampala Mayor Nasser Ntege Ssebagala, who married her in 1997