Breaking

Court Orders Reinstatement of REA Procurement Officer

In her application filed through her lawyers Isaac Kugonza and Smith Kayanja, Mbabazi contends that she joined REA as an Assistant Procurement Officer in 2009 and in 2010 rose to the position of Procurement Officer. She explained that after successful interviews in 2013, she was appointed to the position of Head, Procurement and Disposal Unit.
Rural Electrification Agency has been directed compensated 50 million shillings to Procurement Officer Emily Mbabazi for failure to renew her contract.
The High Court Civil Division has ordered the reinstatement and compensation of Emily Mbabazi, a Procurement Officer in Rural Electrification Agency. Justice Musa Ssekaana issued the orders on Friday while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Mbabazi in, which she sued the Rural Electrification Agency - REA, its Board and the Executive Director Godfrey Turyahikayo for erroneously refusing to renew her contract.   

In her application filed through her lawyers Isaac Kugonza and Smith Kayanja, Mbabazi contends that she joined REA as an Assistant Procurement Officer in 2009 and in 2010 rose to the position of Procurement Officer. She explained that after successful interviews in 2013, she was appointed to the position of Head, Procurement and Disposal Unit.  

Mbabazi told court that she had a four year renewable contract that was subject to performance reviews every six months and annual performance appraisals. On April 17th 2017, Mbabazi applied to the board of REA to have her contract renewed.  However, REA Director, Godfrey Turyahikayo reportedly wrote to the then Ag Executive Director on July 28th 2017 directing him to write to Mbabazi and communicate his decision not to renew her contract.

This prompted Mbabazi to seek court redress. During the hearing, the respondents asked court to dismiss the application on grounds that their decision was based on a report from a Special Audit by the Auditor General in which, he raised issues of poor performance against Mbabazi as Head of Procurement and Disposal Unit. 

In his judgment on Friday, Justice Musa Ssekaana said the decision of the respondents not to renew Mbabazi’s contract and failure to appraise her was unjustified, unreasonable and against the principles of natural justice. He explained that the performance appraisal, which was the basis on the renewal of Mbabazi’s contract, was wrongly done by Turyahikayo, who didn’t have the mandate to terminate her contract. 

Justice Ssekaana also noted that Mbabazi was never accorded a fair hearing and issued an order compelling REA to appraise and consider reinstating her or renewing her contract. “The applicant is awarded UGX 50,000,000as damages due to the circumstances of this case that has occasioned her suffering due to wrongful exercise of power”, Justice Ssekaana ordered. 

In 2019, a whistle blower petitioned the Inspectorate of Government alleging that Mbabazi was irregularly recruited as head of the Procurement and Disposal Unit by the REA Selection Committee, saying she didn’t possess the required work experience for the post at the time of appointment.