UIA shelves restructuring plan

Monday August 19 2019



Sacked. Jolly Kaguhangire

Sacked. Jolly Kaguhangire 

By Christine Kasemiire

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has shelved a planned restructuring process for at least one year.

Speaking in a telephone interview at the weekend, Mr Emely Kugonza, the UIA chairman, told Daily Monitor, the restructuring process will have to wait until when government concludes the third phase of the National Development Plan (NDP), which is currently underway.

“It is a statutory requirement that all strategic plans are aligned to NDP III. So since the 2020/21 financial year will be the first year of implementation … we will be able to come up with a structure that will [align UIA] the NDP III,” he said, noting that UIA is currently drawing a five-year strategic plan that will be aligned to NDP III.

The strategic plan, Mr Kugonza said, is expected to have been completed by April 2020.

UIA in April appointed a new board after the old one was disbanded by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to fit into the recently passed Investment Code. All members of the old board were dropped apart from Mr Kugonza, who was returned as the chairman.

Finance and Investment state minister Evelyn Anite early this year told Daily Monitor UIA had to restructure the investment agency, saying it needs “fresh blood and energy.”

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“They have to restructure UIA. Some people have stayed there for years. Issues of investment keep on changing,” she said then.

The board is also currently searching for a substantive director general formerly executive director, to replace Ms Jolly Kaguhangire, who was recently sacked after over six months of “push and pull”.

Mr Lawrence Byensi is currently the acting director general.

The search was commenced in December last year but no director general has been appointed since even after adverts were placed in newspapers calling on interested candidates to apply.

The process, which was expected to be finalised by May, Mr Kugonza said, stalled over discussions of remuneration of the director general.

However, sources familiar with the matter told Daily Monitor the process was halted informally.

Mr Kugonza dismissed the claims, pers calling on interested candidates to apply.

The process, which was expected to be finalised by May, Mr Kugonza said, stalled over discussions of remuneration of the director general.

However, sources familiar with the matter told Daily Monitor the process was halted informally.

Mr Kugonza dismissed the claims, saying potential candidates for the role have been shortlisted.
Under reforms contained in the new Investment Code, only the Finance minister is mandated to appoint a director general on the recommendations of the board.

The recruitment exercise, Mr Kugonza said, should be completed in at least six weeks.

Dramatic and important dates at UIA since June 2018

June 20: IGG petitioned to probe Ms Jolly Kaguhangire

June 26: Ms Kaguhangire is interdicted, UIA starts own probe. Mr Basil Ajer is appointed acting executive director.

June27: Ms Kaguhangire refuses to leave office

June 29: Ms Kaguhangire is forced out of office

July 5: Ms Kaguhangire, UIA meet President Museveni. She is asked to hand over

July 11: Hand over goes on without Ms Kaguhangire.

September: Ms Kaguhangire sues UIA

September 11: She declines to appear before UIA probe.

September: She drops case against UIA

October 26: Ms Kaguhangire is fired.

October 29: Acting executive director Ajer resigns.

December 20: Recruitment process for new executive director starts

February 2019: Mr Ajer leaves UIA. Mr Lawrence Byensi is appointed acting executive director.

February 6: Finance minister dissolves UIA board.

17 April: New UIA board, chaired by Emery Kugonza is unveiled.

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