The Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has dismissed officials from the Microfinance Support Centre (MSC) citing the absence of the board to answer recruitment queries raised by MPs.
While chairing a meeting on Wednesday, 26 July 2023, the COSASE deputy chairperson, Hon. Lucy Akello, expressed dissatisfaction with the centre’s executive director, John Peter Mujuni’s disregard of the committee’s summons.
“The clerk to the committee should immediately write a letter compelling the board and the executive director to appear before us,” Akello directed.
On Tuesday, 25 July 2023, MPs, among other issues, questioned the authenticity of top management appointments at the Microfinance Support Centre, a government-owned institution with a mandate to offer affordable credit and business development services to its target clientele.
Among the concerns was the manner in which the deputy executive director, Hellen Petronilla Masika, was appointed.
Committee chairperson, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, observed that Masika was appointed without standard due processes including advertising and competitive interviews.
“The board will have to tell this committee why there was no competitive bidding for the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Microfinance Support Centre. If someone is well qualified, they should be subjected to the process,” said Ssenyonyi.
Hon. Abdallah Kiwanuka (NUP, Mukono County North) noted that the deputy director’s appointment circumvented the regulations of recruitment processes.
“You were recruited without competing for the job yet the human resource policy provides for competition in all positions. There was no advertisement or call for other people to apply,” said Kiwanuka.
Masika explained to the committee that she previously headed the Performance and Quality Assurance Department and subsequently managed the executive director’s office in acting capacity for eight months.
“The company had an issue that the executive director was not in office and there was no position of deputy executive director by then. However, the board later created the position to which I was appointed based on my performance,” Masika said.
She added that the board assessed her performance as acting executive director, before appointing her as the deputy executive director.
Hon. Nathan Itungo (Indep., Kashari South County) tasked MSC to present the institution’s human resource manual that would guide the committee’s report on the matter.
“If we get a copy of this document, we can be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that this lady was appointed according to the law,” Itungo said.
MPs also raised concerns about management officials like the corporation secretary and human resource manager who have been in acting capacity for five years.