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The actors in the immunisation fund scandal

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd May 2007 03:00 AM

IN a recent report by the IGG, former health ministers — Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, Capt. Mike Mukula, Dr Alex Kamugisha and Alice Kaboyo were implicated in the mismanagement of $4,361,000 (about sh7.9b) meant for immunisation activities from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). M

Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi
Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi has been a newsmaker for almost all his political life, at least, since the NRM came to power in 1986. A lawyer, former policeman, guerrilla and now a General in the UPDF, Muhwezi has been known to wield political power within the Movement.

Born fifth in the family of 12, Muhwezi was born to Eva and Rev. Samuel Katugugu on August 23, 1950. His ascendancy to prominence can be traced to the February 1981-James-Bond-like escape from Jinja Road Police Station where he had been detained, before disguising himself as a woman to flee to Nairobi, Kenya.

Rather than travel to Europe for further studies on a scholarship he had got in exile in Kenya, Muhwezi chose to join the bush war struggle against dictatorship led by President Yoweri Museveni that raged from 1981—1986.

Angered by and dissatisfied with the reasons for his censure in 1998, Muhwezi commented, “I hate evil. Not only corruption but injustices, posturing, under-hand activities and telling lies. I hate them all. I am not very religious, but I have deep seated religious discipline.”

But ironically its one of these vices that MPs levelled against the reverend’s son and continue to rock his political life. In 2005, Justice James Ogoola during a judicial probe of the loss of Global Fund monies accused Muhwezi of abuse of office that led to lose of millions and in April this year, the IGG accused him not only of abuse of office, but also embezzlement and theft.

“Money was lost. Careers and personal reputations may be lost in this sordid story but the greatest losers have been the people of Uganda,” Ogoola remarked. Could the justice have been prophesied?

On April 29, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the arrest and prosecution of Muhwezi and his two former deputies, Capt. Mike Mukula and Dr Alex Kamugisha. While Mukula and Kamugisha are on remand in Luzira, Muhwezi is in Europe where he reportedly went for treatment. Will he survive again?
When the NRA/M swept to power in January 1986, he was a Director General Internal Security Organisation (ISO) a position he held up to 1996.

Muhwezi became a member of the National Resistance Council (NRC), Constituency Assembly Delegate for Rujumbura, crafting the constitution under whose provision he is being prosecuted. He has been Rujumbura MP since 1996.

Before his censure in 1998, he was state minister for Primary. In 2001, he was re-appointed minister before the recent troubles influenced the president to exclude him from his post-2006 re-election cabinet.

During the Ogoola probe, the Justice urged Muhwezi to apologise to the president and people of Uganda: “The affairs of the state have gone singularly wrong under your stewardship. The body politick has been deeply wounded,” Ogoola stated.

An infuriated Muhwezi shot back: “When there has been a call for patriotism and statesmanship, I have been there. I don’t know, my lord, where you were at that time but the peace that prevails, I was part of.” That has been assumed to be his veil until events of this year unfolded.
Muhwezi went to Kigezi High, Makobole High and later joined Makerere University for a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree.

alice kaboyo
Alice Kaboyo is a former employee of State House. She was a private secretary to the President in-charge of political affairs and mobilisation.
Yesterday court heard that on November 9, 2005 she fraudulently and without claim of right, took or fraudulently converted to herself sh250m the property of Ministry of Health. Its also alleged that on or about March 23, 2006 being a person employed by the Government forged the following receipts:
  • No. 52 dated January 13, 2005 for sh2,934,0000.

  • No. 45 dated March 5, of sh600,000.

  • No. 48 dated May 2, 2005 of 1,500,000.

  • No. 78 dated June 2, 2005 for sh2,934,000 and

  • No. 89 dated July 2, 2005 of sh3,000,000 purporting each to be an acknowledgement of payment by Messrs SMS Video and New Agency whereas not.

  • Capt. Mike Mukula
    Capt. Mike Mukula is an ambitious, hardworking and enthusiastic politician. He is the vice-chairman of NRM in charge of the Eastern region.
    He is gifted with the ability to speak many local languages which has eased his work as a mobiliser for the NRM.

    With the death of former Foreign Affairs Minister, James Wapakhabulo, Mukula presented himself as the pillar for the party in the East.

    Mukula, born on August 27, 1954, only became active in politics after the advent of the Movement in 1986 at the lower level of the local council system. In 1986, he was the secretary for defence for Bugolobi I in Kampala with Francis Bbale as chairman. He then rose to secretary for defence LC II, replacing Maj. Gen. Fred Oketcho.

    He rose quickly through the local council system, becoming a councillor for Nakawa Division chaired by now Supreme Court judge Joseph Mulenga.

    Before politics, Mukula was a successful businessman owning Soroti Hotel, Voice of Teso and others. He has since divested himself from a number of his business ventures to concentrate on politics.

    At first, he wanted to go for the Nakawa parliamentary seat, but thought he could not dislodge former Local Government minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali. He retreated to Soroti Municipality where he was MP until 2006 parliamentary elections he lost to FDC’s Charles Ekemu.

    In the Sixth Parliament, he is best remembered for moving motions for disarmament of the Karimojong warriors whose raids and rustling in Teso has caused untold misery.
    He has often been voted the best dressed Ugandan in The New Vision readers’ opinion polls. Museveni appointed him as State Minister for Health in 2001. Because of the Global Fund mess, he and his boss Jim Muhwezi together with colleague Dr Alex Kamugisha were not re-appointed to the 2006 elections cabinet.

    When Joseph Kony’s Lords’ Resistance Army rebels invaded Soroti in June 2003, Mukula, together with disaster preparedness minister Musa Ecweru mobilised a militia of close to 12,000 Arrow Boys who flushed the rebels out of the region.

    He holds a masters degree in Business Administration (2003) from Nkumba University and several diplomas in Aeronautics Science.

    Dr. Kamugisha
    Dr. Alex Kamugisha is one man who takes his God so seriously that he will flinch at the thought of diverting the Lord’s tithe at the end of the month.

    During the probe for the mismanagement of the Global Fund he was accused of using his position as Minister of State for Primary Healthcare to influence his son’s appointment as a data management officer with the Uganda Global Fund Project Management Unit.

    Kamugisha is described as a workaholic. When it comes to his work, he dissects it with such precision that he rarely leaves an aspect untouched. His former students at Mulago Medical School remember him as a thorough lecturer when it came to subject matter.
    A friendly person, educated, talkative and very humourous, he always adds new friends to his list.

    On Sundays, he turns up either at Nyakibare Parish or Rutooma Parish to praise God. He sits on several church committees, devotes a lot of time and money to charitable causes and development programmes in the district. This earned him into the hearts of many.

    To some, Kamugisha is a man who truly cares about his people, a quality that has cemented his popularity in the area. It has always been a disappointment to them, therefore, when he does not turn up for nominations each time parliamentary elections come round. Why, they ask, does he behave like an MP when he has no intentions of going there?
    The answer lies in the fact that he hails from Rujumbura County, the same constituency Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi represents in the Parliament. Since both are members of NRM, the question has always been ‘who should stand for the parliamentary elections?’
    Although Kamugisha stood and failed to make it to the Constituent Assembly, the race won him a good following that made him a force to reckon with in any elections.

    By 1996, it was generally understood by Rujumbura voters that Kamugisha intended to compete against Muhwezi during the parliamentary elections. Kamugisha, however, stepped down. This happened again during the 2001 and 2005 parliamentary elections.

    Yesterday he was arrested in connection with the mismanagement of the GAVI monies.

    The actors in the immunisation fund scandal

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