13 Top MoH Bosses Fired
By Our Reporters
In her internal memo dated 25th September 2017, the PS Health Ministry Dr. Diana Atwine announces the knifing of Prof Anthony Kabanza Mbonye who has been working as the Director General Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry.
In her 2 page memo, Atwine makes it clear this is in implementation of a voluminous report in which IGG Irene Mulyagonja recommended Mbonye’s removal from the post of Ag. DGHS.
He has been holding it in acting capacity having been elevated over a year ago to replace Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng who was appointed Minister of Health by the President.
This is how Atwine wrote in her memo directed to Mbonye and copied to a number of MOH officials: “Reference is made to the IGG’s report dated ref. HQT68/12/2016 & HQT79/12/2016 dated 11th September 2017 on systemic investigation into the recruitment of DGHS and other senior positions at the Ministry Headquarters by the Health Service Commission.” She goes on: “The purpose of this memo is to inform you that your assignment as Ag. DGHS is hereby withdrawn with effect from today 25th September 2017. You are directed to hand over office immediately. The responsibility of caretaking of the office of the DGHS will be designated to another officer. You will now henceforth perform your duties as per your previous deployment. In addition you are requested to show cause why you shouldn’t be submitted to the HSC for a disciplinary action.”
Handled by the Health Service Commission (HSC), the recruitment that the IGG is now disputing involved Mbonye who applied for DGHS and 12 other top management positions. Acting on whistle blower information, IGG found that Mbonye used his position as Ag. DGHS to influence the recruitment process by setting the eligibility criteria to his own advantage.
The IGG says that in 2016, the cabinet authorized the then PS to recruit over 255 top positions at the MOH in conjunction with the Public Service ministry. The recruits were to be deployed at the MOH headquarters.
These included the 13 top positions which the IGG was petitioned about alleging irregularities on part of the HSC.
The disputed 13 positions include DGHS, Commissioner Health Services (Community Health), Commissioner Health Services (Planning and policy), Commissioner Health Services (Integrated Epidemiology & Surveillance), Assistant Commissioner (Community Health), Assistant
Commissioner (Information & Knowledge management), Assistant Commissioner (Epidemics), Assistant Commissioner (Vector borne diseases), Principal Entomologist, Principal Epidemiologist, Senior Entomologist and Senior Epidemiologist.
Besides the alleged interference in the recruitment process in liaison with some bosses at HSC, the IGG also indicts Mbonye for writing and publishing the December 2016 opinion article entitled “The Dilemma of Pursuing a double career” which was run in the state-owned daily.
That it was wrong for Mbonye to cause the publication of the opinion article without authorization of the PS and other superiors at the Ministry.
We couldn’t readily establish what the contents of the article were. The IGG also faults HSC for short-listing Mbonye when he lacked the graduate qualifications in administration and management. She also faults HSC for sidelining the PS in the recruitment process contrary to the cabinet directive.
When rung for a comment, Prof Mbonye said he had been unfairly treated and had decided to challenge the IGG report in court from where he expects to obtain an injunction against the implementation of Mulyagonja’s recommendations to his own detriment.
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