Semakula eats big in shakeup at Finance

By: CHRIS OBORE

Kampala: Mr Lawrence Semakula, 48, is now the Accountant General of Government. His appointment follows last month’s retirement of Mr Gustavio Bwoch who had served for 10 years. “Following Mr Bwoch’s retirement, I am appointing you to be the Ag. Accountant General,” reads a memo to Mr Semakula, from Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi.

Mr Bwoch’s retirement also provoked a mini shake-up at the Finance ministry, with Mr Isaac Mpoza, who was the commissioner Treasury Services, being appointed commissioner Financial Management Services, a post hitherto held by Mr Semakula.

Ms Jenniffer Muhuruzi, who was assistant commissioner Financial Management Services, was appointed as acting Commissioner Treasury Services. “These appointments take immediate effect,” wrote Mr Muhakanizi.

Anxiety

The appointments have caused some anxiety within the ministry hierarchy as they are the most senior jobs in controlling the public purse. But Mr Muhakanizi said: “Semakula is acting. Public Service will in future advertise the jobs and he will go for interviews like anybody else.”

Even deputy secretary to the Treasury Patrick Ocailap is still in acting capacity. “I would have wanted him appointed immediately but the Public Service Commission does not exist; they haven’t appointed new members,” said Mr Muhakanizi.

Secretary to the Public Service Commission Duncan Bigirwa confirmed the expiry of the Professor Muzaale-led Commission. Asked how the Commission is now operating without members, Mr Bigirwa said: “I am guiding the Commission for now.” The President appoints Commissioners.

Who is Semakula?

He is a Fellow of Certified Chartered Accountants with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an MBA.

He worked at Nile Hotel & Conference Centre as an Accountant and Financial Controller.

He also worked at Uganda Institute of Bankers as Financial Controller.

He joined Ministry of Finance in 2001 as assistant Commissioner in charge Foreign Funds where he rose to Commissioner Financial Management Services.

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