The Inspectorate of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja, has dropped investigations into alleged abuse of office by State minister for Finance-in-charge of Investments and Privatization Evelyn Anite in the controversial Uganda Telecom (UTL) investment deals.
In a letter dated 6, December, Justice Mulyagonja notified Ms. Anite that the file had been closed after preliminary investigations found no case in the allegations.
“After preliminary investigations, the IGG has decided to discontinue any further investigations into the matter in line with section 19 (2) of the Inspectorate of Government Act, 2002,” Justice Mulyagonja’s letter reads in part.
The IGG added: “This is because we are satisfied that further investigations into the matter would be unnecessary and futile. Accordingly, the case file has been closed”.
Over the weekend Anite said: “From the onset, I always pushed hard to save UTL from liquidation. On the other hand, a network of corrupt individuals seeking to liquidate and share UTL assets picked on me for blackmail and slander. They extended their blackmail effort to institutions like IGG to waste taxpayers’ money. I am happy they have been defeated and ashamed. They will be exposed too.”
In August, a whistleblower petitioned the IGG, demanding that Ms. Anite be investigated over claims of influence peddling, abuse of office, corruption, and misconduct adding that Anite traveled to Mauritius to negotiate a secret pact to sell UTL below the market value to Mauritius Telecom.
The Mauritius government company was among those that competed for UTL takeover in 2018 although the government halted the process after the eventual winner of bidding – Taleology Holdings GIB Ltd, a Nigerian firm, failed to buy up the required amount for takeover.
The Whistleblower alleged that while Ms. Anite was on official study leave in August 2018, for graduation after completion of Masters of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy at Harvard Business School in the US, she secretly flew to Mauritius to meet ‘with the team responsible for ensuring this deal happens to acquire UTL at a much less value than the asset value estimated at $84m”.
“I find this conduct Tanta mounting to influence peddling, abuse of office, corruption and conduct unbecoming of a minister and Member of Parliament. I have reliable information that Ms. Anite secretly left the USA around August 4 and traveled to Mauritius via France. She arrived in Mauritius on Monday, August 5, where she spent about four days meeting Mauritius Telecom officials,” the whistleblower noted.
Responsible for leading the country’s drive for industrialization, one of President Museveni’s four drivers of the economy to middle-income status, Ms. Anite has been at the epicenter of seeking sanity in UTL.
She spent the most part of the year fighting against the extension of the contract of Mr. Twebaze Bemanya as UTL Administrator, accusing him of corruption and working with a “cartel” within government which she accuses of seeking to liquidate UTL and sale of equipment for “selfish interests”.
After a huge battle, Mr. Bemanya, who is the Registrar General of Uganda Registrations Services Bureau (URSB), he last month lost his portfolio as UTL administrator and Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija together with Ms. Anite have been tasked to appoint a new lawyer to take over office as UTL Administrator.