Irene Mulyagonja is yet to quit her position as Inspector General of Government (IGG) despite being appointed and sworn in as Justice of Court of Appeal last year.
Ugandanz News Website has learned that Mulyagonja is still occupying the position of IGG and only intends to leave when her contract expires.
“I am going to leave after a new IGG is appointed or when my contract ends in July,” Mulyagonja told top management during today’s early morning meeting.
According to Mulyagonja’s close associate, who spoke to us on condition of anonymity to speak freely, the judge said she was not in a rush to take on her new appointment.
She said she was implementing a “restructuring” exercise – which includes laying off staff before leaves. Officials say the exercise is not only costly but being rushed and could attract suits if not properly managed.
Mulyagonja’s refusal or delay to move to her new station has since caused paralysis at the Inspectorate.
Some people at the Inspectorate are already mooting petitioning the Constitutional Court (where she’s a member now), to declare her stay as unconstitutional.
Officials say Mulyagonja risks having all the Inspectorate’s reports, orders, decisions, investigations and charge sheets challenged in Court.
Section 4 of the Inspectorate of Government Act, 2002, provides that the IGG and Deputy Inspector General “shall be appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament and shall not, while holding office, hold any other office emolument in the public service.”
Yet, Mulyagonja was inaugurated as Judge of Court of Appeal by President Museveni at State House Entebbe on December 11, 2019.
By claiming that the IGG is illegally holding two offices, corruption suspects can challenge Mulyagonja’s reports and prosecutions.
“As IGG, she is actually a Prosecutor. How can a Prosecutor be a Judge at the same time? It is awkward,” said a lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retribution.
“An accused person can argue that the Inspectorate of Government is not properly constituted,” the lawyer said, adding, “The people the IGG is taking to Court are armed with this weapon as a technical means to knock out prosecutions which could also cost taxpayers billions on shillings in legal suits.”
Efforts to reach Mulyagonja were futile as her known mobile phone was unreachable today morning.
However, judiciary spokesperson Solomon Muyita said, “Mulyagonja is still there (IG) till the end of her contract.”
He said that “was the arrangement” but didn’t explain the legal basis for Mulyagonja to hold two positions at ago.
At the IG, an official said morale is at its lowest with no serious work taking place.
An analysis of Mulyagonja’s earnings at IGG shows that she will receive the hefty annual gratuity of Shs 160m if she stays on till July 2020.
Mulyagonja is chauffeured in a three-vehicle convoy and travels frequently for trips abroad. Whenever she travels abroad, the IGG earns $ 600 per night.
At the Court of Appeal, she will have none of these apart from one bodyguard whom she will sit within the car.
Mulyagonja’s gross salary is Shs 36m. Mulyagonja is also entitled to Shs 2.5m annual medical allowance, fuel allowance of Shs 1.5m per month and Shs 2m as monthly ‘Information Fund’.
Salary is not much different considering judges’ pay is not taxed. At the Court of Appeal, Mulyagonja will be earning about Shs 20m per month.
At the IG, Mulyagonja wields immense power.
She is in charge of supervision, the power to commence investigations, prosecutions and end them, power over poor staff members among others.
However, at the Court of Appeal, she will be under the authority of Deputy Chief Justice.
“We really don’t know what to do with her (Mulyagonja) because she is not leaving. Investigators are concerned that their effort will be in vain if prosecutions are challenged in courts of law because the law restricts her from occupying two offices,” said a source, adding, “The Inspectorate is in a stalemate.”