Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Government Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa have defended the appointment of what their opponents claim are their biological children or other close relatives to their positions in Parliament.
As a result, the displaced employees have attempted to seek help from higher authorities.
At least five close relatives, including two biological children, have been assigned to Ms Nabbanja’s office in the Office of the Leader of Government Work, which oversees and coordinates all government business in Parliament.
Similarly, Government Chief Whip Tayebwa’s office includes at least four of his about 25 employees who have tight ties to him.
Ms. Nabbanja revealed in an interview that two of her daughters were hired by the Office of the Leader of Government Business after her appointment.
One of her daughters has been appointed to the Office of the Leader of Government Business as a senior liaison officer.
Ms. Nabbanja claims that her daughter is qualified and that she was a Parliamentary employee as early as 2016.
Ms Nabbanja’s other daughter works in the same office as an office assistant (Minute Secretary). A liaison officer who is apparently the daughter of the premier’s late brother works in the same office as Ms Nabbanja.
Another is the wife of Ms Nabbanja’s brother, who works as a liaison officer, while another is the Prime Minister’s cousin.
Ms Nabbanja stated that the three “may be” members of her Kakumiro District constituency, and that nothing prevents them from serving in one of her posts.
“It is true I know the two children. You should ask about the rest to the Parliamentary Commission and the Clerk (to Parliament) because they know how they came to be working in Parliament. They are children of the Prime Minister, but they are entitled to work,” she said.
“My children are not part of my politics. As the President tells you, play with him, but don’t play with his family. Faridah [one of those said to be her daughter] has a Master degree in Oil and Gas and she is qualified to work anywhere. The law allows the Leader of the Government Business to second some people. Do you want someone to appoint a personal assistant for me?” she asked.
“They [accusers] are digging up rubbish. It is not easy to keep a clean record in this country. Should the people from Kakumiro not get jobs?”
“Save me the nonsense bro,” remarked Government Chief Whip Tayebwa in a WhatsApp response. Go acquire a list of all my employees and inquire about their backgrounds. Only one of them is from my district. The rest are dispersed across the country.”
But Parliament’s Director of Communication and Public affairs, Mr Chris Obore, said both offices of the Leader of Government Business, and that of the Government Chief Whip are political offices, with the holders allowed to headhunt the personnel they believe will drive their agenda or what they have set out to.
However, he added, “The director and assistant directors and such staff are permanent staff of Parliament and that permanent structure remains, but other positions of policy analysts, etc., are headhunted.
Mr Obore added: “You cannot impose on her [Ms Nabbanja] or him [Mr Tayebwa] the staff he or she cannot work with.” Mr Obore also said what Ms Nabbanja has done is recruiting contractual staff, and as the Leader of Government business she has a leeway. He said those who are reportedly replaced were employed on contract and had their contracts expired.
The Office of the Leader of Government Business in Parliament and that of the Chief Whip are closely connected and work hand-in-hand to process the government’s legislative agenda.
The staff that have been kicked out to give way to the new team include Mr Geoffrey Beinomugisha (principal policy analyst), Mr Joel Ocuka Opio and Mr Azhar Sebbi (both policy analysts), Mr Yusuf Ahimbisibwe and Ms Dorothy Nazzinga (both liaison officers).
Others are Ms Flavia Nsubuga Mukasa (policy analyst), Ms Emmanuel Ninsiima (principal liaison officer), and Ms Hope Magyezi (policy analyst).
Many of those who have been sent away have been working in the office for at least 15 years under former premiers Patrick Amama Mbabazi and Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, and former government chief whips Daudi Migereko and Ruth Nankabirwa.
“These cadres are actually seeking audience over the irregularities and unfairness meted out to them by their own,” a source told.
- Kasaana Washington Kakembo Adyeri , Principal Policy Analyst, Paternal Cousin brother to Nabanjja
- Nakasumba Faridah, Senior Liaison Officer, Biological daughter to Nabanjja
- Nakasumba Fatinah, Office Assistant, Biological daughter to the PM
- Nakanwagi Gorreti, Liaison Officer, Niece/Daughter to Rt. Hon. PM’s brother
- Namata Sylvia, Liaison Officer, Sister in law/Wife to the PM’s biological brother
- Alanaitwe Bright Bukyanagandi, Senior Liaison Officer, Relative to Rt. Hon. PM
- Muhumuza D. Daniel, Policy Analyst, Biological Brother to Government Chief Whip
- Muruhura Moses, Office Assistant, Uncle to Government Chief Whip
- Atuheire Annah, Policy Analyst, Niece to Government Chief Whip
- Muheebwa Henry, Senior Policy Analyst, Relative to Government Chief Whip
- Kyarisiima Catherine, Office Assistant, Niece to Director, OLGB