Uganda: Nursing Officer Interdicted Over Defaming Officials On Social Media

A senior nursing officer attached to Kwirwot Health Centre II in Suam Sub-county, Bukwo District, has been interdicted over misuse of social media.

A letter signed by Mr Gabriel Richard Atama, the chief administrative officer (CAO), stated that Mr Harison Simiyu, 35, was interdicted on June 11.

Mr Simiyu was given the interdiction letter on July 4.

"On other occasions, you have been writing and circulating malicious rumours and many other unconfirmed and illegitimate information attacking and defaming/slandering men and officers working either within local government system, the police and other agencies of government," the letter reads in part.

"You have done this in total disregard of your status as an officer abound by the oath of secrecy and all provisions of the government standing orders 2010, the code of ethics conduct of public officers and other laws. Against the above and a number of evidence pointing to the same, I have no option but to interdict you from office," the letter adds.

Mr Atama confirmed that Mr Simiyu had been interdicted and would appear before the rewards and sanctions committee.

"We have the standing orders as civil servants and unfortunately, he breached all these laws," he said.

Mr Atama said despite several warnings, Mr Simiyu kept posting defamatory information on his social media platforms.

"He has been doing it for so long. He is too indisciplined and disrespects his superiors through electronic warfare. He is supposed to be dismissed but this interdiction is in line with the law so that we give him an opportunity to appear and explain why he breached those administrative clauses," he said.

However, Mr Simiyu said he was interdicted for exposing corrupt officers.

"They interdicted me last month but I was given a letter this month. This is just witch-hunt because I am one of the leading whistle blowers in exposing corruption in the district. It is unfair and I will appeal," he said.

Mr Simiyu said the district officials are behind his interdiction because they have been threatening him.

"They are corrupt. I am not the first person to be interdicted. There are so many people who are being harassed because of talking about corruption and exposing corrupt officers in the district," he said.

Mr Tom Chesol, the Resident District Commissioner, said Mr Simiyu has been helping the community through exposing corruption in the district and wondered why the CAO interdicted him.

"The CAO was misled. The interdiction was irregular. That man is a good person only helping in the fight against corruption for better service delivery," he said.

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