Trade Ministry PS Ssali Dropped Amid Corruption Investigations

The permanent secretary of trade, cooperatives, and industry, Geraldine Ssali, has been dropped from her position following an ongoing corruption scandal that is being investigated by Parliament.

The Ministry of Finance permanent secretary and secretary to the Treasury, Ramthan Ggoobi, authored a letter dated Thursday, October 5, 2023, to the trade minister, Francis Mwebesa, requesting that he recommend an officer to carry out the duties of the ministry’s accounting office, thus confirming Ssali’s fate.

“The purpose of this letter is to request that you, as the supervising political head of the ministry of trade, recommend an officer to carry out the duties of the accounting officer as allegations against Ssali and others are being investigated,” the letter read.

This new development comes against the backdrop of an investigation by Parliament’s committee on trade, tourism, and industry on the ministry’s utilisation of the supplementary budget for the rent of new office premises for the financial year 2022-2022.

The committee, headed by Mwine Mpaka, said that Ssali irregularly utilised the sh5 billion that was meant to rent new premises as renovations of the ministry’s offices went on.

Parliament had earlier recommended that Ssali and her co-accused be indicted over allegations of inflating the cost of renovating the Farmers House, where the ministry’s offices are located.

Ssali’s office messenger, who has been identified as Tom Opio, has also been ordered out of office until investigations are done.

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