KAMPALA- An earlier letter written by Investments Minister Evelyne Anite has unearthed the rot within the Uganda Investment Authority Board, with the Minister raising a red flag on the board’s meddling with management responsibilities.
The letter, written on May 26 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.”
Ms Anite’s letter has fired a spanner in the works as UIA seeks to sack the Executive director accusing her of corruption and nepotism.
The Minister even accused the board of “intentionally eliminating competition for jobs by advertising the jobs internally and conducting interviews instead of hiring a competent independent firm to do the recruitment.”
Ms Kaguhangire was appointed UIA executive director in April last year, replacing Dr Frank Ssebowa whose term expired in 2016.
In March, Ms Kaguhangire embarked on a restructuring process that sent home five directors but others according to Minister Anite’s letter “directors bribed the board members with Ush 50Million each to have them stay in positions,” Anite said requesting the board of directors, Mr Emely Kugonza to urgently respond to these allegations.
Last week, two letters written on June 20 and June 22, allegedly from UIA staff petitioned the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to investigate Ms Jolly Kaguhangire, executive director over abuse of office, sectarianism and corruption, among others.
The board of directors however, took an immediate resolution to interdict Ms Kaguhangire for a period of three months saying “the board reviewed the situations surrounding the institution basing on what has been happening and took a decision to suspend the Executive Director for a period of three months.”
“Much as the claims have not been fully investigated, it would be in the best interest that she steps aside until the investigations are concluded,” Kugonza said adding that the agency has a zero tolerance to corruption policy.
But Ms Kaguhangire declined to vacate office, claiming that the Board decision was null and void.
“Yes, I continue working to deliver UIA’s mandate despite the persistent systematic unfairness & negative personal bias from particular individuals. I will be vindicated at Uganda investment authority,” Ms Kaguhangire on her official social media account.
Kaguhangire also accuses the board members making biased decisions and having personal conflict with her maintaining that her interdiction is not a board decision according to laws and regulations governing UIA, standards corporate practice and governance, and the principles of equity “I am not complying.”
“It is on record that one of the board members has personal conflict with me and participated in the deliberations and voting of the board to my prejudice,” she said in a letter.