Kampala- Interdicted Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) executive director Jolly Kaguhangire has rejected summonses to appear before a Select Committee investigating accusations of abuse of office, corruption and insubordination.
Ms Kaguhangire was interdicted in June pending findings of investigations into alleged misuse of office.
However, she argues she can only appear before the UIA select committee after a court case she filed against her interdiction, is disposed of.
UIA, according Mr Emely Kugonza, the agency’s chairman, set up a six-member committee to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the allegations against Ms Kaguhangire.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Kugonza, told Daily Monitor the committee had held its own investigations surrounding the grounds of her interdiction which were to be put to Ms Kaguhangire to defend.
However, he said, she did not turn up for a scheduled meeting yesterday.
“The board select committee sat today [yesterday]. She was notified in good time to come and defend herself to have an opportunity for a fair hearing. The grounds for her interdiction were clear and have been investigated, the findings while not out in the public were going to be put to her to defend herself,” he said.
Ms Kaguhangire, according to Mr Kugonza, had confirmed she would appear yesterday by 9am but had not by 11am.
However, Ms Kaguhangire told Daily Monitor yesterday she had informed the board earlier that she would not be attending the hearing.
“I respect the board. I never wanted them to wait for me and I do not appear. So I sent my lawyers to explain the status of this communication,” she said, noting that she had declined to attend the hearing on grounds that there is an ongoing court case.
About two weeks ago, Ms Kaguhangire sued UIA for wrongful interdiction. Thus, she reasoned, the ongoing investigation would be a case of subjudice to the ongoing case.
Ms Kaguhangire is also being investigated by the Inspector General of Government following a petition from unidentified people, who claimed to be workers at UIA.
The investigations are also related to corruption, abuse of office and victimizing some staff in the now impugned restructuring process.
A letter seen by this newspaper addressed to the select committee from Ms Kaguhangire’s lawyers said: “… since the case of Ms Kaguhangire vs UIA is still in court, the issue of her interdiction is sub-judice. We request you to suspend the hearing until the High Court pronounces itself on the matter.”
However, Mr Kugonza said the board had not received a legal order from the court instructing them to halt their investigation.
“There is no court order to that effect so the issue of sub-judice does not arise. She went to court to seek an injunction that has not been granted so there is nothing stopping the process from continuing,” he said.
Asked what happens now that Ms Kaguhangire has absconded their meeting, Mr Kugonza said the committee will continue with the process and thereafter make its submissions to the board.
Ms Kaguhangire was interdicted after letters petitioned the Inspector General of Government (IGG) accusing her of wrongfully using her powers to manipulate the board in regard to a restructuring process that had started in February.
According to a source close to the matter, the IGG’s investigations are ongoing but at the moment, information has been gathered and witnesses have been questioned.