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Mixed reactions as minister Anite files out for two months after controversy at UIA, UTL

State Minister for Investment Ms Evelyn Anite has filed for study leave in the United States of America where she is attending graduate school at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, US ( File photo)

KAMPALA – Officials in the Ministry of Finance are reported to have received with mixed reactions, information that State Minister for Investment Ms Evelyn Anite filed out for a study leave in the United States of America where she is attending the Graduate School.

This website understands that Ms Anite is studying a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, United States, whose cost of USD 90,000, is reportedly funded by President Museveni himself. She started the course in January and is set to complete early next year.

And now several sources say that Ms Anite’s decision to go for leave as she completes her studies has sparked mixed reactions in the Finance ministry as some of the dockets under her supervision became a source of confusion in the sector especially the Uganda Investments Authority and the now controversial sale of Uganda Telecom Ltd, which she wanted to be handed over to Mauritius Telecom.

Ms Anite, before she flew out separately wrote to the President Museveni and the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, seeking to take leave of duty.

“The purpose of this letter is to inform you and request for permission to take my annual leave to enable me attend class for my masters. During my absence, Mr David Bahati, the minister of State for Planning and Economic Development, will hold my portfolio,” reads in part Anite’s letter to the President dated June 28.

Ms Anite had before she left embroiled in the controversy over the management and later finding an investor to take over Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) which she wanted handed to Mauritius Telecom but her move was swarted by a July 25th Cabinet meeting which rejected her paper and instead appointed Attorney General Mr William Byaruhanga to head a committee that would make the decision.

Ms Anite had before the Cabinet meeting clashed with UTL administrator Bemanya Twebaze, who recommended that govenment negotiates with one of top three bidders including Hamilton Telecom that offered USD 70 million. Mauritius Telecom, that Anite favoured came last of the six bidders with an USD 45 millions offer. Ms Anite then alleged that Hamilton had bribed the UTL admnistator and also labelled the US based telecom firm incompetent.

Lawyers representing Hamilton Telecom Ltd have since petitioned President Museveni, protesting what they describe as malicious labelling by Ms Anite and also indicated they would take her to court for defamation.

On May 26, Anite wrote to the Uganda Investment Authority Board, accusing the board of meddling with management responsibilities.

The letter warned the Board against trying to do day-today management work, and accused board members of corruption, extortion of money from investors among others.

“Reference is made to ongoing restructuring process of Uganda Investment Authority and attached letters alleging undue interference in the process. We have noted that if these allegations are true, the restructuring process will not result in a positive impact on the institution,” Ms Anite wrote warning the board chairperson Emely Kugonza against interfering with authority’s daily duties.

Ms Anite noted that the Ministry of Finance had received claims that “directors and the board connive to obtain bribes from investors, sell industrial park land and extort investors in exchange by advertising for facilitating their meetings with ministers and the President.”

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