Gulu University Secretary Faces Dismissal over Recruitment Scandal

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Gulu University Secretary Asaf Adebua (middle) earlier appearing before PAC with other University staff.

PAC has ordered for Investigation in the matter and a Police detective is attached to that effect , let us wait for the result of the investigation before we pass judgement on University management. Secondly PAC had invited the University on financial query for financial year 2018/2019 but rushed to discuss the petitioned they had received from some staff members, said – James Onon, Gulu University Mouth Piece.

URN Reports –  Gulu University acting Secretary Asaph Adedua faces dismissal following a petition to parliament’s Public Accounts Committee-PAC in regard to the institution’s recruitment exercise during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Following the lockdown declared by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to tame the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Public Service in March issued a circular to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies stopping recruitment during the lockdown.

Contrary to the directive, PAC on Wednesday learnt that 62 staff have been recruited by Gulu University during the COVID-19 lockdown even when the university is closed. Out of the 62 recruited people, 33 are academic staff,  while 29 are non-teaching staff.

Adebua, the acting University Secretary told MPs that it was urgent for them to recruit in order for the institution to be ready once the lock down is lifted and studying resumes.

He told the committee that the appointments board consisting of 11 people met on 10th June 2020 and among others confirmed staff who had earlier served for six months, renewed contracts of permanent staff, made 4 substantive appointments among the academic staff, carried out appointments of heads of departments and deans of faculties among others.

The confirmation from Adebua angered the PAC Chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi who questioned how the appointments board met yet there is a circular stopping recruitment during the COVID-19 lockdown. He also questioned whether there were advertisements carried out for the positions and evidence for the adverts.

“You appointed heads of departments, to head what in lockdown? The University is closed, why do you recruit them to access money, Are you fair to this country?” Nandala asked.

In response, Adebua said that there were no adverts for the positions and that interviews were not also carried out. He further shocked legislators when he revealed that instead of adverts, emails about the positions were sent out to deans.

His submission raised more questions from Nandala on how the applicants were got without adverts but Adebua had no answers.

This prompted Nandala to inform the accounting officer that his Committee had already received a petition questioning the recruitment exercise.

The Budadiri West MP said that his Committee must recommend for the withdrawal of Adebua’s appointment letter saying that he doesn’t seem to understand his duties.

Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja weighed in proposing that the Criminal Investigations Officer – CID Nathan Gumisiriza attached to PAC moves to investigate the recruitment process so that they get a detailed report on the matter.

Nandala then ruled that his committee perceives the development at the University as a criminal matter alleging that the officers are using their offices to recruit relatives and friends something that is not acceptable.

He directed the CID officer to carry out an investigation and present to the committee with a report about the people who were recruited and the terms of recruitment. He directed that the details of investigation should be submitted to the committee by Thursday next week. 

Nandala further directed the university administration not to effect any payments until the exercise of investigation has been concluded.

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