Controversy! Lawyer Questions Appointment of Third-Ranked Candidate as UNBS ED

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A lawyer has questioned the appointment of Eng James Kwesiga Nkamwesiga as executive director, of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) yet he emerged third best in the job interviews.

UNBS announced Nkamwesiga successful candidate from the selection exercise that started in January with the advertisement of the position until then occupied, in acting capacity, by Daniel Nangalama.

The interviews featured three tests or assessments with the total results being circulated against 100 points. These were: psychometric assessment; written technical test; PowerPoint presentation and oral interview. While the tests had different weights on the final result, the assessment guidelines stated that none of the assessments should be considered in isolation but rather wholesomely.

“This is the reason why the overall score if it is above the cut-off, 60 per cent, should be considered as a good basis for recommending a candidate for further consideration…” 

The documents from the assessment show that Fortunate Muyambi Benda scored 79.9 per cent, while Apollo Segawa scored 79.25, and Nkamwesiga 63.12 per cent.

The results sheet also shows that Ajer Basil got 61.46 and Samson Akankiza Mpiira 60.46, while Joachim Charles Nkwanga was 46.74 per cent. A simple analysis of the outcomes for the top three shows that in the psychometric assessment, Muyambi scored 86 out of 100, Nkamwesiga 78, and Segawa 77. In written technical tests, Muyambi got 77, followed by Segawa with 76, while Nkamwesiga scored 48.

In the PowerPoint presentation and oral interview, the total points were 60. The results show that Muyambi scored 46.27, and Segawa 51, while Nkamwesiga scored 38.77. Despite five candidates scoring higher than the cut-off point, the standards council recommended to the minister the top two.

“Please find the report of the interviews conducted for your consideration. The 9th National Standards Council hereby recommends the best two candidates as highlighted in the report,” says the statement signed by the NSC chairman, Charles Musekuura.

It has now surfaced that Nkamwesiga came third out of the six candidates that were on the final shortlist. On May 14, 2024, one George Ahimbisibwe wrote a complaint letter through his lawyers, Wanambugo & Company Advocates, to the Attorney General over what he referred to as an “illegal appointment” on Nkamwesiga.

Ahimbisibwe, describing himself as a concerned citizen, contends that the minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, appointed a person “who was not recommended” by NCS after the interviews.

“The appointment by the minister is illegal and contrary to the UNBS Act as he did not act by the recommendations of the Board as required by the current law,” the lawyers say.

Mustapha Mugisa, a business management consultant at Summit Consulting says the minister was within his powers and could have based his decision on “other factors” that matter.

“Anyone with 60 per cent or above is good, based on the assessment tools used. The appointing authority has leeway to select a qualifying candidate who meets the requirements.”

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