400 Uganda Judicial Staff Risk Losing their Jobs

Following the exit of Mr. Kagole Kivumbi and the Coming of Mr. Pius Bigirimana as Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to the Judiciary, in July this year, There has been alot of speculation and anxiety among Judicial Officers and Non- Judicial Officers.

A rare major staff shake up has seen over 60 staff being transferred to New work stations countrywide and over 500 Contracts staff whose contracts will end on 31st December 2019, have been informed that, they’ll have to look for jobs elsewhere.

One of the Contract Staff we spoke to confirmed that it is true, contracts for support staff will end on 31st December, 2019 but are always renewed every year, pending regularization in the Public Service and upon continued Satisfactory performance, integrity and trustworthiness of an officer.

A highly placed staff at the Judiciary who preferred anonymity, said that the transfers are malicious and a one man’ s job.

He said that the Human Resource Department of the Judiciary was being run by just one woman, Apophia Namutamba Tumwine,the Pricincipal Human Resource Officer.

According to the structure of the Judiciary,. The Department is supposed to have a Commissioner HR, An Assistant Commissioner HR, Two Principal Human Resource Officers, a Senior Human Resource Officer and Human Resource Officer.

Currently, the Commissioner is on Interdiction, The Principal Human Resource Officer 1, Patrick Barugahare  has been transferred back to Public Service following a disagreement with Apophia Tumwine who asked the PS Pius Bigirimana to have him Transferred, Since Apophia is the second hand right woman of the PS.

Apophia Namutamba Tumwine joined the Judiciary in 2018 from Ministry of Gender, Labour and social Development where she worked with Mr. Pius Bigirimana but because of continuous scaffles with the Commissioner HR in Gender, she asked that Apophia be transferred elsewhere.

Apophia has been accused by staff as being corrupt, abusive of her office and being tribalistic.

She said to have transferred all staff working previously in this Office to other duty stations claiming the PS didnot want them there.

A one Hanifa Nakalema a Secretary was transferred to Commercial Court and Mwasiti Nakagolo and Office Attendant to Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court.

She went ahead and recruited her Sister, Esther Mukyala into the same office and brother Eric Waiswa, as Office Supervisor.

“Apophia controls the Judiciary and has so much power. She can fire, hire and transfer staff as she pleases”, An Anonymous source noted.

Some of the projects she runs include, The Weekly Friday Health Runs, the HIV project, the Beautification of Courts project, Transport Office, Deployment and Transfer of staff, Renewal of Contracts for staff, payroll, Staff trainings among others all that translate into millions of shillings for Apophia every week.

Staff further accuse Apophia of forcing them to sign money for staff trainings yet they’re normally just meetings, eating money meant for beautification of Courts (55million per quarter) and manipulating the payroll and stealing Judge’s allowances.

All this comes at a time when Judicial Officers are challenging the PS Mr. Bigirimana’ s move to slash their monthly allowances, arguing that it is illegal, improper, irrational and an abuse of law.

Inside sources have however noted that, the PS, Pius Bigirimana isnot the problem but Apophia Namutamba Tumwine.

“All the Chaos and confusion is Apophia’ s making”!

A one Edmund Twinomujuni was taken off the payroll by the same Apophia, when his ex-wife girlfriend complained about their domestic issues. And a number of Office Supervisors on Contract have been told that their contracts won’t be renewed simply because she wants the positions for herself.

According to the Public Service Standing Orders, A civil servant can be transferred within service after staying in a position for at least three years.

The guiding document indicates that transfers should be done in Public interest and should never be used as punitive measure.