Interdicted UIA boss fails to vacate office again

By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala. Interdicted Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) executive director, Ms Jolly Kaguhangire, has refused to vacate office despite numerous reminders to do so to pave way for meaningful investigations.
The July 5 State House meeting chaired by President Museveni broke the back of Ms Kaguhangire, compelling her to accept to hand over officer to the new interim boss, Mr Basil Ajer , but she failed to officially vacate the same yesterday, as expected, citing a “family issue”.
The meeting, according to sources, lasted hours and was attended by top officials from both the Finance ministry and UIA. After back and forth engagements, it was agreed that Ms Kaguhangire abides by the board’s decision and officially vacate office pending conclusion of a three-month investigation.

Did not attend the handover
In a turn of events, however, Ms Kaguhangire did not attend the handover to Mr Ajer, the new interim boss, as directed by Finance minister Matia Kasaijja saying she was out of the country.
“This morning, (July 11, 2018) I called your [Mr Kasaija] mobile phone, which was unavailable and having subsequently called your office, your secretary informed me that you are currently out of the country hence this email I am now writing,” Ms Kaguhangire’s email reads in part.

She adds: “I wish to state that I received your letter of July 9, 2018 through email. I am currently out of the country attending to my sister who was taken ill and is now awaiting to undergo a major surgery. If all goes well, I will be back in a week’s time. I will immediately get in touch as soon as I arrive in the country.”
Her email, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, is, however, silent on the handover, which was central in Mr Kasaija’s communication. The same issue is key to the leadership impasse at UIA since Ms Kaguhangire’s interdiction on June 26.

“As agreed in State House, this is to request you to hand-over office to Mr Basil Ajer, director SME & STI on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 2.30pm. Please take this matter in good spirit as it is a process to determine whether the accusations against your office and person bear any substance or not,” Mr Kasaija wrote to Ms Kaguhangire on July 9.
He added: “On completion of the interdiction period and issuance of interdiction report of which by copy of the chairman Uganda Investment Authority should produce within the agreed period of three months, the decision will be taken on the way forward with your employment with Uganda Investment Authority.”

In the letter, Mr Kasaija also urged her to fully cooperate with the investigators probing alleged abuse of office, insubordination, misleading and lying to the board and closure of a public office without authorisation among other things.

Issues at hand

Review. Daily Monitor has learnt that a quick review was done to determine some of the assets owned by UIA after Ms Kaguhangire’s exit. It has since been established, according to inside sources, that the Industrial and Business Park, Namanve sits on 2,200 acres and not 15,000 acres as earlier reported. Of these, 1,750 acres were parcelled out and allocated to various investors for development purposes.
Mbale. Mbale Industrial Park (619 acres) land title is still intact and is registered in UIA names.
Kasese. The audit further reveals that Kasese Industrial Park land is 216 acres in total as opposed to the reports that it is only 150 acres.

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