Kaguhangire has been at the helm of the agency, charged with marketing Uganda as an investment destination to both local and foreign investors.
KAMPALA - The chairman of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA)’s board of directors, Emely Kugonza, has explained the interdiction of the agency’s executive director.
At a sitting it held at UIA in Kampala on Tuesday, it emerged that the board interdicted Jolly Kaguhangire for a period of three months.
The interdiction took immediate effect.
In a document signed by Kugonza, Kaguhangire was interdicted on grounds of abuse of office, insubordination, closure of a public office without authorisation (UIA Namanve office) and serious corruption allegations made by the agency’s staff.
Kaguhangire's interdiction comes just days after a petition was filed to the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG) over mismanagement of the agency, requesting the IGG to investigate the executive director over several accounts.
UIA staff requested the IGG to investigate Kaguhangire on grounds of incompetence, nepotism in the ongoing restructuring of the agency and insubordination.
Speaking to the New Vision over telephone on Tuesday evening, Kugonza said the board reviewed the situations surrounding the institution basing on what has been happening and took a decision to interdict the executive director for a period of three months.
Kugonza said the agency has a zero-tolerance to corruption policy but there have been corruption allegations against the executive director, the head of the agency’s secretariat.
“Much as the claims have not been fully investigated, it would be in the best interest that she steps aside until the investigations are concluded,” Kugonza explained.
He also explained that there have been internal issues of insubordination, impunity and abuse of office as well as failure to implement the board’s resolutions by the executive director.
Kaguhangire (right) has been UIA executive director since April last year
Kugonza cited irregular activities that were done under Kaguhangire’s watch, such as irregular recruitment of staff and paying them salaries above their rank in the organisation structure as one of the cases.
Kugonza explained that when Kaguhangire was appointed in April last year, she recruited her executive assistant and personal assistant who, according to UIA’s organisation structure, are low-level staff, but were paid salaries at director and executive assistant levels.
At the rank of the executive assistant, she is equivalent to an investment assistant.
According to the organisation structure, an investment executive is three levels lower than the director after the senior investment executive and deputy director in ascending order.
“This caused animosity within the institution. These issues were brought to our attention and we took a decision to have them corrected but the executive director ignored,” Kugonza said.
We have put in place a committee to look into those issues and the decision on the next course of action is expected to be taken in the next three months.
Asked why the board took so long to act on the irregular activities, Kugonza said the board is the institution’s governing body that doesn’t participate in the daily running of the organisation, but when it (board) takes a decision, it expects implementation from the management, something that Kaguhangire has reportedly been ignoring.
Basil Ajer, the agency’s director for small and medium enterprises, has been appointed the acting executive director.
However, Kaguhangire will be receiving a half pay for the three months of her interdiction.