Minister Babalanda Orders Suspension of Errant Buikwe RDC

The Minister for the Presidency, Ms. Milly Babalanda, has directed Hajj Yunus Kakande, the secretary in the Office of the President, to recall Hawa Namugenyi, the Buikwe Resident District Commissioner (RDC), from her post.

In a letter dated July 1, Ms. Babalanda, who oversees RDCs, instructed the “immediate transfer” of RDC Namugenyi to headquarters.

Namugenyi has been placed on ‘katebe’ – a term for non-deployment – pending a detailed report on her conduct in office.

“The President will be consulted for a final decision on the matter after the detailed report is completed,” Babalanda stated.

RDCs, appointed by the President, represent his interests at the local government level.

Namugenyi overstepped her bounds on June 13 when she led a team of security personnel, including army and police officers and self-proclaimed bailiffs, to demolish a house belonging to Simon Herbart Alideki.

Alideki and his sister Stella Nambi had petitioned the High Court in Fort Portal over the “unfair” distribution of their late father Simon Peter Kasikisa’s properties by their half-siblings.

Despite a court injunction, Namugenyi proceeded with the eviction until State Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, Ms. Diana Mutasingwa, intervened.

“I am calling Minister Babalanda. What kind of nonsense is this? You are sent to represent the President but instead you’re misrepresenting him. Why can’t you wait for the court’s decision to implement the eviction? Who paid you?” Ms. Mutasingwa demanded.

Ms. Mutasingwa, also the Buikwe Woman MP, was in Njeru Municipality during the eviction when Namugenyi could not produce an eviction order or minutes of the district security committee.

In her directive to Hajj Kakande, Minister Babalanda noted that a “hot exchange” between Namugenyi and Minister Mutasingwa had “caused much public debate, discrediting the office of the President.”

“A detailed report should be produced on the issue as per my earlier guidance,” Ms. Babalanda wrote in the letter, copied to the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, and Minister Mutasingwa.

“As an interim measure, the Deputy RDC of Buikwe should take charge of the RDC office,” she added.

Namugenyi’s troubles escalated on June 22 when residents from various Buikwe villages stormed the district headquarters, protesting her alleged corrupt practices.

The residents accused Namugenyi of soliciting money ranging from Shs2 to Shs3 million to address their issues, claiming she often collected money through her deputy and sometimes secretaries.