Ministry of Health official cleared of conflict of interest allegations

Namajja Irene

Namajja Irene

, News

The High Court ruled that there was no evidence to show that Prof. Anthony Mbonye had a conflict of interest when he applied for the job of Director of Health Services in the health ministry.

Mr. Mbonye, who was the Acting director of health services in MOH, was accused of having pushed for review of positions in the MOH inclusive of the position of Director General Services which he eventually applied for with other interested candidates.

The IGG then carried reviewed the process and made a report pinning Prof. Mbonye of conflict.

He was implicated for applying for the position of the Director of Health Services without disclosing interest to the substantive permanent secretary.

The IGG had also held that Prof. Mbonye did not qualify to be short listed for the position.

Based on the report, the permanent secretary, MOH, MS Diana Atwine then wrote to  Mbonye, directing him to relinquish his position as the Acting Director of Health Services, a directive that saw him seek court’s redress.

In a ruling, Justice Henrietta Wolayo said; “ While the IGG was entitled to make findings after investigations, the finding that there was conflict of interest is not conclusive as Prof. Mbonye is entitled to due process before the authority mandated to enforce the Code.”

On the allegation that Mbonye did qualify to be on the shortlist, the judge ruled that it was premature on grounds that he had not undergone the disciplinary process before the Health Service Commission, which body is authorised to enforce the code of conduct.

“Having considered that Prof. Mbonye has not been subjected to the appropriate disciplinary process which would have led to any of the sanctions stipulated by the Code of conduct, it is fair that he be allowed to sit interviews,” ruled justice Wolayo.

The judge quashed recommendation that reviewed the shortlisting of Prof. Mbonye for the position of the director of health services for allegedly not having not met all the conditions and academic requirements for the position advertised.

The professor is now at liberty to sit for the interviews of the director of health service, MOH.

“Prof. Mbonye will be allowed to sit interviews for the post of director health services unless the health service commission defers the exercise until disciplinary process is concluded,” the judge directed

Mbonye welcomed the ruling saying; ‘To me this is a very good ruling because court has found that I was not guilty of conflict of interest and that I did it in good faith and I am going to be allowed to sit for the interviews for the position of the director of health services.”

However, he also indicated he was going to discuss with his lawyers on how to sue for damages caused to his reputation.

Justice Wolayo directed each party to bear its own costs.

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