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UIA: IGG Probe Sucks In Anite, Rwakakamba

The ongoing probe into activities of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) by the Inspectorate of Government has sucked in the finance state minister for privatisation, Evelyn Anite, and the authority’s board chairperson, Morrison Rwakakamba.

Evelyn Anite

The probe that touches on alleged abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss and corruption, started with the UIA Director General Robert Mukiza before Anite and Rwakakamba were also implicated.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG) spokesperson, Ali Munira, yesterday confirmed the probe, saying they are covering allocation of land to investors, management of the UIA payroll, and development of the Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) in Namanve, among others.

“It’s true we are handling the investigations on UIA, some suspects have recorded statements,” Munira said without divulging further details.

New Vision has learnt that the case, which was initially handled by the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kibuli under reference number 275/2023, was in October last year transferred to the IGG after it picked interest in the matter.

Sources in the Inspectorate of Government said they want Anite, Rwakakamba and Mukiza to substantiate on allegations of corruption in allocation of land and development of the industrial park.

Sources noted that the probe, which first involved UIA staff, later dragged in the board chairperson and the minister. This was after Mukiza, who first recorded statements, shifted blame on Anite and Rwakakamba.

In January this year, officers from the Inspectorate of Government raided UIA offices in Nakasero and whisked away several documents and computers from the Human Resource and procurement offices. The raid came in the wake of the sacking of the HRO (Amelia Natukunda) by Mukiza.

Areas of probe

Although Munira declined to provide details, New Vision has learnt that the inspectorate has taken over investigations into issues that the CID had sought clarification on.

These included the UIA structures in the past three financial years (2021/2022, 2022/2023 and 2023/2024), detailed list of all permanent staff, contracts, project staff, staff on attachment like police officers, and the human resource manual.

The IGG is also probing the recruitment process of Ahmed Busoobozi (deputy director finance), Alice Ndagire (acting head of procurement), Joanitah Kambedha (documentalist) and Alex Nuwagira (project manager).

They are also investigating the recruitment plan, project administration and schedule of duties of Busoobozi, Ndagire, Kambedha, Ndagire and Nuwagira.

Also under probe is the shortlist report for the position of industrial park manager with a list of applications received, those shortlisted, guidelines for staff records and management of office keys.

Kampala Gazette has learnt that the IGG is also seeking to establish how personal files of UIA deputy director general Dr. Paul Kyalimpa and those of the authority’s director of Investment Promotion and Business Development, Peter Muramira, disappeared.

Mukiza was also asked to present approved budgets for the entity, costed departmental workplans, quarterly implementation schedules and a soft copy of the payroll for the past three financial years.

He was also asked to produce; “an allocation of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) access rights for programme budgeting system and Integrated Bank of Projects (IBP) system.”

The IGG is also interested in an audit trail identifying people who accessed the IFMS and the IBP system; a list of approved pre-qualified suppliers of goods and services during the three financial years; allocation of access to the procurement system for suppliers with an audit trail identifying them.

They also demanded for a detailed list of personnel who have been in acting positions, showing among others dates when they were appointed and the current appointments.

The IGG also wants to look into complaints of alleged hijacking of the IFMS and IPB systems by some staff members.

Land allocations

The IGG wants to examine certified copies of; the plan for establishment of the industrial park, original bills of quantities for the project and revised bills of quantities for the constitution of the power station, which included the removal of the solid and liquid waste management plants.

They are also investigating the requisition of sh14b for purposes of paying the owners engineer (MBW and PM Excellence). In this regard, UIA was asked to provide details of the bank accounts where the sh14b was paid, and particulars of authorised account signatures.

The inspectorate also wants to looks at the letter of termination of the owners engineer with the reasons and hand over certificate for the project, documents in relation to allocation of land for investment to Tirupati Uganda Limited and letter of withdrawal of the land from them.

In 2021, Tirupati filed a suit against UIA after the authority failed to give the investor titles of land in the park. Tirupati won the case in July last year. Mukono High Court Judge Florence Nakachwa ordered UIA to pay Tirupati sh60m in damages and refund all the money which the comp-any had paid in the process of acquiring the land in the industrial park.

They are also investigating how allocations of land to all investors were conducted at Namanve industrial park, and how requisition of sh9b in respect to taxes for the contractor (Dott-Lagan) was carried out.

The investigators are also seeking to find out how Uganda Revenue Authority carried out the assessment of the sh9b taxes paid by Dott-Lagan.

Anite speaks out

When contacted yesterday, Anite said she was aware of the investigations by the IGG in relation to the UIA issues, but revealed that she had not yet been contacted to record statements.

“She has not called me yet. I am looking forward to her calling me. Before the IGG officials raided UIA, I was already aware of the mismanagement at the authority and I had already cancelled some of the wrong decisions the director general was making, especially firing the head of human resource and I had already called the board and asked them to reconsider,” Anite told the New Vision.

The minister said she had reversed a number of irregular decisions that had been taken by Mukiza. “I can only manage the institution through the board and every time I get an accusation, I call the board and tell them this is not right and they correct it,” Anite said.

Regarding claims that she watched on as corruption thrived in UIA, Anite insisted that she was the first to report the matter to the IGG and that she was black and white in matters of corruption.

On the issue of mismanaged resources, Anite said she was not privy to the allegations made against her. “I would be very happy to be summoned to explain. If you have nothing to hide, you don’t fear anything. The truth is as a minister responsible, if the issue is mismanagement of resources, I don’t touch resources. If the issue is land allocation, I don’t allocate land. If I had anything to hide, I wouldn’t have written to the IGG,” she stated.

Anite added; “I want to ask the IGG to call for a public inquiry into the corruption at UIA as a person who wants to expose the rot in government. People must stop using their family connections to threaten me.”

She noted that in April this year, she took the head of the State House Investor Protection Unit, Col. Edith Nakalema, and the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Brig. Henry Isoke, to Namanve after many investors complained about the way UIA was handling their issues.

By press time, Mukiza’s known cellphone numbers were off, and he was reportedly out of the country, while Rwakakamba did not respond to our request for a comment.

Enter EOC

Reports of investigations at UIA also come in the wake of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) asking Mukiza in a letter dated June 20, 2024, seeking an explanation regarding how the authority recruited Eng. Felix Tumukunde Bainamaryo as the project’s engineer.

EOC secretary Catherine Amal demanded that Mukiza brings a copy of the job advertisement, requirements for the position, shortlisting criteria and scorecard, minutes of the interview and selection process, appointment letter and contract and EOC recruitment policy. UIA is expected to submit the requirements on Friday June 28.

Last Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni reportedly met top UIA officials led by Rwakakamba and Mukiza together with Anite and the Lagan-Dott contractors over the controversial sh565m honoraria payments.

Sources who attended the meeting noted that Anite’s temper reportedly flared when Mukiza accused the minister of corruption. This was after Anite demanded that those who received the sh565m refund the cash to Lagan-Dott.

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