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AG Objects to Kasigwa's Appointment as UNBS Chief :: Uganda Radionetwork
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AG Objects to Kasigwa's Appointment as UNBS Chief

The Attorney General's intervention follows a petition by one Ahimbisibwe George soon after the announcement of Eng James Nkamwesiga Kasigwa as new Executive Director effective May 13, despite coming to third in the interviews
Kasigwa's appointment is in balance
The Attorney General has advised the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives to rescind the appointment of the Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to "abide by the laws".

The Attorney General's intervention follows a petition by one Ahimbisibwe George soon after the announcement of Eng James Nkamwesiga Kasigwa as the new Executive Director effective May 13, despite reports that he did not score the highest during the interviews.

The position had fallen vacant following the interdiction of David Livingstone Ebiru, and was then occupied in acting capacity by Daniel Nangalama.

The petitioner through lawyers; Wanambugo & Company Advocates, to the Attorney General, said the appointment of Nkamwesiga was illegal because he was not one of the two candidates from the interview process recommended to the Minister.

The interviews featured three tests or assessments with the total results being circulated against 100 points. These were: Psychometric Assessment; Written Technical Test; and PowerPoint Presentation and Oral Interview.

While the tests had different weights on the final result, the assessment guidelines stated that none of the assessments should be considered in isolation but rather wholesomely.

"This is the reason why the overall score if it is above the cut-off, 60 percent, should be considered as a good basis for recommending a candidate for further consideration..." 

The documents from the assessment show that Muyambi Fortunate Benda scored 79.9 percent, while Segawa Apollo scored 79.25, and Nkamwesiga 63.12 percent.

The results sheet also shows that Ajer Basil got 61.46 and Akankiza Samson Mpiira 60.46, while Nkwanga Joachim Charles was 46.74 percent.

Despite five candidates scoring higher than the cut-off point, the standards council recommended to the minister the top two.

"The 9th National Standards Council hereby recommends the best two candidates as highlighted in the report," says the statement signed by the NSC Chairman, Charles Musekuura.

Ahimbisibwe sought to know why the candidate ranked third and not on the recommendation list was the one appointed, contending that this violated the UNBS Act.

On May 15, the Attorney General requested and received from the Permanent Secretary the interview report for the said position.

"We have studied the report and note that the 9th National Standard Council recommended to you the best two candidates as highlighted in the report," says the letter signed by Deputy Attorney General, Kafuuzi Jackson Karugaba, to the Minister.

He noted that Eng James N Kasigwa was the 3rd candidate according to the interview report. 

"This means that there is no recommendation of James Nkamwesiga Kasigwa to the Minister because the recommendation was in regard to the best two candidates."

Previously, under Section 11 of the Act, the Minister had the sole powers to appoint the ED, until the 2013 Amendment of the Act introduced a system of checks and balances where the appointment has to be done by the Minister on the recommendation of the Board.

"It is our considered view that the replacement of Section 11 of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards Act, Cap. 327 in the 2013 Amendment of the Act must have been intended to cure a given mischief," says the AG's letter.

He stresses the importance of the recommendation of the Board in the process of the appointment of the Executive Director to avoid any space for mischief.

Karugaba advises that any appointment that does not take into consideration the provisions of the law as amended is void and cannot stand. "The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to advise you to pay strict adherence to the law as it stands."

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