President Museveni has given the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr Johnson Byabashaija, and his deputy, Mr James Mwanje, a two-year contract extension.
“This is to inform you that the Speaker of Parliament of Uganda has communicated that the Appointments Committee of Parliament has approved the appointment of Dr Johnson O.R Byabashaija as Commissioner General of Prisons and Mr James Mwanje as Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons,” an April 22 letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr Jeje Odongo and Dr Kenneth Omona, the principal private secretary to the President, reads in part.
“I further wish to inform you that upon receipt of the above communication, His Excellency, the President has signed the Instrument of Appointment for these two officers,” the letter adds.
The extension is effective tomorrow.
The contract is also eligible for further two-year extension if the officers apply for renewal.
Under the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders (2010);
“It is government policy not to employ pensioners but when it is necessary to do so, a pensioner may be employed on contract terms under the following circumstances: the post to be filled requires special skills and the only suitable candidate available for the post is the pensioner.”
The Standing Orders stipulate that the duration of service will be two years unless otherwise specified by the Appointing Authority.
On April 6, Parliament’s appointments committee chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had asked Dr Byabashaija and his deputy to wait for the verdict on their tenure pending further legal consultations on their new contracts.
It was reported by some media then that this was on account of old age but this newspaper has been informed by two members of the committee that the President had earlier appointed the two Prisons chiefs for a three-year contract as has been the case for the last 15 years yet they were entitled to a two-year contract once they clocked 60 years.
“The issue we were sorting was not, contrary to what some newspapers wrote, that Dr Byabashaija is too old for the job. What we needed to crosscheck with the President and the law was whether the new contract should be two or three years,” a member of the committee told this newspaper on request of anonymity.
Ms Kadaga then conferred with the President who wrote to her with the clarified position of two years as opposed to three.
She also wrote back to him affirming the committee’s approval of the new contract for the two officers and the President on April 22 signed the appointments.