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Is Geraldine Ssali a rotten tomato in public service basket?

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For almost a month now the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC), Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa has been featured in the local media for a bad reason.

Ssali who is synonymous with indiscipline wherever she serves is said to have slapped one Sandra Aneno, a senior legal officer in MTIC over unclear circumstances. Ssali is also accused by her Minister Francis Mwebesa of trying to sack Anemo without following the established guidelines.

Insiders in MTIC says indeed Ssali slapped Aneno, and told her bodyguard to rough up Aneno, even though the PS has tried to cover it by using Victoria Nansikombi, senior human resource officer in MTIC to pin Aneno with allegations of indiscipline. In fact, the anonymous worker in MTIC says Ssali and Nansikombi should be disciplined for attempting to tarnish Aneno’s image in the media in an attempt to cleanse the ills of Ssali.

“Going backwards, Ssali is a person who thinks she is untouchable and blameless when it comes to government work. She thinks she is the alpha and omega at the ministry, forgetting that we have a minister at the top,” an insider said, adding “that is why minister Mwebesa is mad at her.”

The officer said the explanation that Aneno was frustrating the settlement of new trade Minister Mbadi are false, and do not erase the fact that Ssali is a badly mannered senior government officer that should not be holding that position. “I don’t know whether you have ever observed her facial expression when confronted with a challenge. She looks bad,” the official said.

Backwards the NSSF Board of Directors, at its meeting on March 14, 2016, suspended Ssali as the NSSF Deputy Managing Director for “gross insubordination contrary to the Fund’s Human Resources Code of Conduct.” According to a statement released then, “the decision is in line with the Board’s mandate, the Fund’s Human Resources Manual (Policy & Procedures) and Section 63 of the Employment Act (2006).”

Ssali who briefly acted as NSSF MD, was not happy that Richard Byaruga was selected to be her boss and as such she kept on showing acts of insubordination towards him, the NSSF Chairman Kaberenge and the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija. So Ssali is not new to controversy in public service.

Further, Ssali, according to a recent parliamentary report, she one of those people who mismanaged money meant for cooperatives after she undermined the Inter-ministerial Committee established by advice of Cabinet and set up her own in MTIC. She is said to have given Bwavu Mporogoma Cooperative billions of shillings irregularly, from which her husband Busuulwa benefited.

This is how Ssali runs MTIC, and one can see that she always disrespects those above her. Ugandans have not forgotten that she was also involved in a recent scandal at MTIC, forcing the PSST to advise that she be relieved of the role of Accounting Officer.

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