By Innocent Atuganyira

MASINDI: Justice Jesse Byaruhanga the Judge at Masindi High Court has Monday set 18th March as the date for hearing the injuction filed by Patrick Baguma the former acting health officer Masindi.

Patrick Baguma applied for an injuction order at Masindi High Court restraining and stopping the district service commission from carrying out any disciplinary measures against him following his interdiction by Phiona Sanyu the Chief Administrative Officer Masindi.

Suzan Zemei the Lawyer of Patrick Baguma told court on Monday that the application filed by Mr Baguma was administrative in nature and needed more time for filing other applications pertaining to the case.

”We shall file all other applications needed from us within the time given and it will be the closure of the submissions,” Mrs Zemei said.

Simon Kasangaki from Kasangaki and company advocates who represents Mrs Sanyu requested court to issue an injunction to stop Mr Baguma from the interdiction but was denied.

”We need to continue with the mother application and the matter will come up for mention on 18th march 2022 after all submissions from the respondents have been submitted,” Justice Jesse Byaruhanga said.


Baguma’s interdiction

On 07th February 2022, Phiona Sanyu the Chief Administrative Officer Masindi interdicted Patrick Baguma the former Acting District Health Officer Masindi over making false statements, insubordination, disregarding or breaching of laws, regulation and procedures causing loss.

In the interdiction letter dated 04th of February 2022 addressed to Patrick Baguma, it stated among other issues manner bringing service into disrepute, acting against public interest, failure to supervise staff, refusal to comply with lawful instructions, and failure to comply with performance management requirements.

Sanyu further stated in the interdiction letter that Baguma’s actions and sanctions contravene the Uganda Public Standing Orders 2021, section {F-a} and the Code of Ethics and Conduct of Uganda Public Service.

”Based on the above in accordance with provisions of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2021, section {F-r} and section {F-s} as well as the Public Service Commission regulations 2009, you are hereby interdicted from duty with immediate effect,” the letter stated in part.

Sanyu also stated in the letter that while on interdiction, Baguma will receive half of his basic salary subject to refund of the other half in case the interdiction is lifted and charges against him are dropped.

”You shall not be allowed to frequent the office or leave the country without the permission of the undersigned. Your attention is drawn to the provision of Uganda Public Services Standing Orders, 2021, section {F-d} relating to the handling and taking over office which you must strictly comply with,” the letter further stated in part.


The arrest of Baguma

After getting a copy of the interdiction letter, Rose Kirabira Kobusinge the Resident District Commissioner Masindi ordered for immediate arrest of Baguma to wave way for investigations.

Baguma was arrested on the afternoon of 07th February 2022 in Kihande Cell Central Division Masindi Municipality Masindi district.

”After receiving a copy of the interdiction letter from the office is chief administrative officer, i ordered for the immediate arrest of Patrick Baguma to pave way for the investigations,” Kirabira told journalist shortly after the arrest of Baguma.

Kirabira noted that Masindi received a lot of funds including corona virus, hepatitis B, child fund but Baguma failed to account for it.

Baguma was however released on the same date on police bond after recording statement at Masindi Central Police Station.


Baguma runs to court

Through his lawyer Susan Zemei, Patrick Baguma on 10th February 2022 filed an injunction before David Sayuni the assistant registrar Masindi high court stopping the district service commission and other government organs from carrying any disciplinary measures against him basing on the interdiction.

In his suit Baguma also requests the court to conduct a judicial review and declare that his interdiction is null and void and unlawful. He also wants court to quash Sanyu’s decision to direct him to handover office and prohibit her from flouting the public service disciplinary procedures.

Baguma further wants court to compel Sanyu to pay him costs for inconvenience, mental torture, trauma and shock as the results of her action.

Phiona Sanyu the Chief Administrative Officer Masindi in her defence filed by the district lawyer Simon Kasangaki asserts that Baguma’s interdiction followed his failure to heed despite the several formal and verbal warnings and engagements made to him due to acts of incompetence, making false accountability and insubordination among other gross misconducts that contravene the Public Service Standing Orders and his appointment as a vote controller for the health department in the Financial year 2021/2022.

Currently Dr. Jino Abiriga who has been working in Masindi hospital is the one who is acting as the district health officer Masindi.

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