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MPs Grill Dr.Musenero For Bullying Science Ministry Staff

MPs on Parliament’s Budget Committee have quizzed Dr. Monica Musenero (pictured), the Minister of Science and Technology over claims that she has been bullying staff at the Ministry.

The Minister is also accused of barring some staff from accessing the Ministry after she allegedly ordered Special Forces Command (SFC) to take siege of the Ministry.

This followed alleged petitions and letters to MPs including Anna Adeke (Soroti City Woman Representative), Gorreth Namugga (Mawogola South) and Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County).

The MPs said there are a number of complaints that Minister Musenero has hijacked duties of Ministry of Public Service and resorted to hiring staff via zoom.

 “Several complaints have been raised; people complaining about mistreatment under Ministry of Science and Technology,” Namugga said.

Patrick Isiagi (Kachumbala County) defended the decision by the Budget Committee to inquire into accusations of the welfare of staff because the money worth Shs200Bn is going to be transferred from Ministry of Science and Technology to State House and this has to be managed by some staff.

 “The movement of money must be supported by activities, if money moves to people who are disgruntled, we need an assurance. We want this fundamental matter to be put to rest,” he said.

However, while appearing before the Budget Committee , Minister Musenero denied allegations of bullying staff but rather blamed the accusations on the anxiety that comes with merging of the Ministry to State House.

Musenero denied knowledge of the said petitions and questioned authenticity of the petitions after pointing out that the petitioners failed to sign their own petition.

“There hasn’t been any mistreatment of any staff and if anybody has that substantive evidence, let it be tabled. Since I was appointed Minister, I had a meeting with directors to understand what was going on. I have worked with agencies and they can tell how much support they have received. I can respond once I get official letter. I disassociate from any allegation that I participated in mistreatment of staff,” said Musenero.

Muruli Mukasa, Minister of Public Service also responded to claims that Public Service has received similar petitions remarking, “I can’t say for certain that I have looked at that petition. But whenever there is a change, it causes some anxiety, that could explain that tone. The earlier we take a firm decision, the better for us. The Ministry of going to be there so there is no danger that people will be thrown away or will be mistreated or going to be thrown away without compensation. Some members will be retained, but those transferable will be moved elsewhere.”

Minister Muruli also urged the Committee to quicken the process of approving the transfer of Ministry of Science and Technology to State House to ensure that the staff are paid because salaries can’t be disbursed until the merging is formalized.

However, Muwanga lashed out at the Minister for trying to stampede Parliament for a crisis created by the Executive.

“The Minister is stampeding by the crisis he created. You can’t stampede us for the mess you created. We strictly make a law for the better governance of Uganda. Let us not go for dessert,” he said.

 When tasked by MPs to explain if State House has capacity to run activities that were being carried out by Ministry of Science and Technology, Minister Muruli answered in affirmative.

“There is no danger that when this one is being financed, there will be no harm at all. There will be no material harm both to strategic intention for Science and Technology,” said Muruli.

However, there was contention after Government said the funds will go to the Office of the President or State House with Agnes Atim (Amolatar DWR) tasking Ministry of Public Service which entity will take up Ministry of Science and Technology, ”We can’t deal with two entities. For us to transfer the money, we need to take money where the functions are going.”

The Committee later agreed to have the Ministry of Science and Technology transferred to State House.

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