The Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Engineer Hillary Onek, has accused the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja of usurping his powers and that of his juniour.
In an October 29 protest letter copied to President Yoweri Museveni, Speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah, Deputy Speaker Anita Among, Minister of state for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Esther Davinia Anyakun, Onek threatened to resign over what he termed as Nabbanja’s “micromanagement” of his ministry.
“Rt. Hon Prime Minister, if you have decided to carry on working like this and rendering my docket irrelevant, kindly put it in writing to H.E. the president who is the appointing authority and I will relieve myself of my responsibilities and allow you carry on with your duties. I will NOT be held accountable for decisions that have been taken without my input,” he noted.
In the letter, Onek further accuses Nabbanja of calling meetings behind his back.
“This is quite evident by the way you have been calling for meetings, going to disaster-affected places and visiting refugee settlements without informing either my office or that of my deputy. To my shock, my staff who I supervise are the ones being called for meetings and not the line ministers,” he noted.
Onek added, “You called for a meeting with the local leadership of Bududa without involving my office or even the area members of Parliament which may lead to decisions being made that contradict earlier and official cabinet position.”
Onek further accused Nabbanja for purging the department of disaster management, taking over the distribution of relief items and causing interdiction of staff members without proper investigation.
He said that the interdicted staff were accused of causing financial loss without conducting a forensic audit by involving the auditor general on October 5.
Onek noted that he has worked with the previous three Prime Ministers, and all along, he knew that the constitutional role of the Prime Minister, is to coordinate legislative agenda and lead government business in Parliament and Monitor all Ministries and government programs.
“They never got involved in micro-management of other ministries. If you decide to micromanage other ministries, what then is the role of the sector ministers who are supposed to plan, make policies and deliver on the manifesto of H.E the president,” Onek said.
The protest letter comes on the heels of another September 15 letter in which he roundly disagreed with the premier’s decision to “divert Shs 5bn from the Shs 15bn allocated to his docket as contingency budget.”