UGANDA – The Attorney General (AG) has advised against the appointment of Eng. James Nkamwesiga Kasigwa as the Executive Director of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS).

Deputy AG Jackson Kafuuzi Karugaba has instructed the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives to rescind Kasigwa’s appointment and adhere to legal requirements.

This intervention follows a petition by George Ahimbisibwe, who questioned Kasigwa’s appointment, despite him not scoring the highest during the interview process. The position became vacant after David Livingstone Ebiru was interdicted over corruption charges.

Represented by Wanambugo & Company Advocates, Ahimbisibwe argued that Kasigwa’s appointment was illegal since he was not among the top two candidates recommended to the Minister.

The interview process included a psychometric test, a written technical test with a PowerPoint presentation, and an oral interview, all totaling 100 points. The assessment guidelines emphasized that no single test should be considered in isolation but rather evaluated as a whole.

The final scores from the assessment indicated that Fortunate Muyambi Benda scored 79.9 percent, Apollo Segawa 79.25 percent, and Kasigwa 63.12 percent.

Additionally, Ajer Basil scored 61.46 percent, Samson Akankiza Mpiira 60.46 percent, and Joachim Charles Nkwanga 46.74 percent.

Despite five candidates scoring above the 60 percent cut-off point, only the top two candidates were recommended to the Minister by the Standards Council. Ahimbisibwe questioned why the third-ranked candidate, who was not on the recommendation list, was appointed, arguing that this violated the UNBS Act.

On May 15, the Attorney General requested and received the interview report for the position from the Permanent Secretary.

After reviewing the report, the AG noted that the 9th National Standards Council recommended only the top two candidates to the Minister, excluding Kasigwa.

The AG’s letter to the Minister emphasized that the recommendation process must be followed as per the 2013 Amendment of the UNBS Act, which introduced a system of checks and balances requiring the board’s recommendation for the executive director’s appointment.

The AG’s letter highlighted that the 2013 Amendment aimed to address previous issues by ensuring the Board’s recommendation played a crucial role in the appointment process, thus preventing any potential mischief.

Karugaba advised that any appointment disregarding the amended law is void and cannot stand, urging strict adherence to the current legal provisions.

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