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“I cant work with her”- Minister petitions Public Service over PS Geraldine Ssali’s conduct


The Minister for Trade, Francis Mwebesa has petitioned the head of Public Service, Lucy Nakyobe informing her of the situation at the ministry with the Permanent Secretary, Geraldine Ssali.In an April, 9, 2024 letter, Mwebesa said that Ssali has created “a very toxic” working environment which has “adversely affected the performance” of staff at the ministry.“Since her assumption of office todate, she has caused forced transfers of several officers out of the Ministry, especially the key positions of the Heads of Planning and Policy, Human Resourçe, Procurement and Accounts. The unhealthy working environment has caused some officers to apply for early retirement.”Mwebesa also commented on the matter where a ministry senior legal officer reported a case of assault against the Permanent Secretary, which he said Ssali is trying to hide despute ongoing investigations against her.The minister also notes that the Permanent Secretary has not been prudent in her actions as the accounting officer , with subventions to agencies not remitted in time  which negatively impacts the implementation of their work plans.With all these allegations, Mwebesa says he feels he cant work with the PS to carry forward the mandate of the ministry.“I find it difficult to work with her (Ssali) to effectively implement the mandate of the Ministry and the NRM manifesto. In view of the above, I recommend that action be taken against her,”Mwebesa said.The development comes on the backdrop of a case of assault report to the Central Police Station in Kampala by Sandra Anena Karen, the head of the legal department of the ministry of trade against Ssali.Investigations into the matter have since kicked off with investigators getting a statement from Ssali this week.Last year, the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Ramathan Ggoobi suspended Ssali as the accounting officer of the Ministry of Trade after Parliament’s trade committee recommended that she is guilty of corruption for failure to properly use money appropriated for renovation work on the ministry headquarters at Farmers’ House.The MPs said there was inflation of the renovation budget.However, President Museveni later ordered Ssali’s reinstatement as accounting officer.

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