Senior Procurement Officer in Sembabule Faces Interdiction Over Misbehaviour
In accordance with the 2021 Public Service Standing Orders, interdiction is a temporary suspension of a public officer from their duties while an investigation into a specific matter is conducted. This measure ensures that the officer does not perform their regular tasks during the investigation. The time frame for conducting investigations during interdiction is set at three months for cases not involving the police and courts, and six months for cases that do involve them.
The Sembabule District Local Government Council has put forth a recommendation to interdict Mr. Geoffrey Tumuheirwe, the Senior Procurement Officer, on allegations of assault and disrespect towards district officials. This decision was reached during a special council session held on October 25, with councilors unanimously supporting Mr. Tumuheirwe’s temporary removal to facilitate a thorough investigation into his alleged misconduct.
The motion for Mr. Tumuheirwe’s interdiction was presented by the district vice chairperson, Mr. Jude Kiganda, during a special council meeting on October 24, presided over by District Speaker Mr. Erias Kasozi. Out of the 34 councilors, 29 voted in favor of Tumuheirwe’s interdiction, while five chose to abstain from voting.
Mr. Kiganda emphasized that interdicting Mr. Tumuheirwe and initiating disciplinary proceedings against him would ensure justice is served. He described Mr. Tumuheirwe’s actions, including assaulting the Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Malik Mahaba, and displaying disrespect towards other district officials, as unbecoming of a civil servant of his position. Mr. Kiganda further noted that Mr. Tumuheirwe had exhibited improper conduct on multiple occasions and had shown no remorse despite several warnings.
Historical records indicate that the former Sembabule Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Juma Nyende, had addressed Mr. Tumuheirwe on September 26, 2013, regarding his gross misconduct, insubordination, and use of abusive and intimidating language during an encounter in Mr. Nyende’s office. In a letter dated September 9, 2021, the District Service Commission, under minute No. 167/2021, issued Mr. Tumuheirwe a reprimand as a final warning for negligence in performing his duties.
Ms. Jane Francis Kagaayi, the Sembabule Resident District Commissioner, has committed to meeting with Mr. Tumuheirwe to discuss the matter and persuade him to apologize to the Chief Administrative Officer.
In a telephone interview on Thursday, Mr. Tumuheirwe dismissed the allegations against him as baseless and clarified that he held no personal grudge against Mr. Mahaba. He emphasized his status as a civil servant and declined to discuss managerial issues in the media.
It is important to note that during interdiction, as per the 2021 Public Service Standing Orders, the affected public officer is entitled to receive half pay while the investigation is ongoing.