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Speaker Kadaga sucked into diplomatic job row

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

A fight over deployment of staff at Uganda’s mission in Ankara, Turkey, has sucked in the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

Julius Ankunda, a first secretary officer at the ministry of foreign affairs, says he was posted to the Ugandan mission in Ankara in July 2016, but his deployment was cancelled immediately at the urging of the speaker.

He says Kadaga requested that one Moses Kasujja, the current first secretary officer at the Uganda mission in Ankara, be given one more year, which “was wrong because his mandated three years at the mission had expired.”

Kasujja is the son of Paul Kagodo, a former NRM chairman for Wakiso district. In a letter dated August 1, 2016, addressed to the chairperson of parliament’s committee on public service, Raphael Magyezi (Igara West), Akunda says he had just arrived in Turkey in July when he received a letter from the ministry of foreign affairs signed by the permanent secretary – dated March 9, 2016 – cancelling his posting to Ankara, which was done on June 6, 2016.

“Procedurally, that mismatch in dates shows there is something wrong,” Ankunda told The Observer.

“I strongly believe this is a violation of the right to fair treatment as portrayed by the arbitrariness of cancellation and reporting to a station where I believe will cater for my personal circumstances particularly my health,” reads the letter.

Committee chairman Magyezi, on August 25, wrote to the foreign affairs ministry asking the minister Sam Kutesa to appear before the committee to explain Ankunda’s complaint.

But in another letter addressed to the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, the ministry of foreign affairs permanent secretary James Mugume said: “The assumption was that [Akunda] was replacing [Moses] Kasujja, an officer of the same rank, who was on recall to the ministry headquarters.”

Mugume said Kasujja then requested for a one-year extension on medical grounds.

“The request was supported by speaker of parliament who visited Ankara mission and interacted with Kasujja.”

Mugume adds: “The implication of this request was that the ministry could not continue deployment of Ankunda to Ankara.”

Ankunda says the speaker’s involvement was unnecessary and suspicious.

“Does the speaker chair Uganda’s medical board? Does she hold the executive role in any ministry of foreign affairs? Or is she a deploying officer?” wondered Ankunda, who says he was humiliated on recall.

Kadaga told The Observer on Tuesday that she did not know Ankunda. She agreed, however, that she had requested that Kasujja’s stay in Turkey be extended for medical reasons.

“Kasujja had an accident and he is undergoing treatment,” Kadaga said. “He asked me to support his request [to stay in Turkey] on medical grounds, which I did.”

She added that Kasujja got an accident when he brought investors to Kampala and suffered a fractured leg.

“I don’t know those other people,” Kadaga added.

This post was syndicated from Breaking and latest news, analysis, comments, business, lifestyle, entertainment and sports from Uganda. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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