The process of appointing a substantive Managing Director (MD) of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has been queried by MPs
By Moses Walubiri
The process of appointing a substantive Managing Director (MD) of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has been queried by MPs on the Natural Resources committee of parliament after NWSC board members gave contradictory statements about a board resolution appointing Eng. Alex Gisagara.
According to the board resolution dated 2nd August 2012, Dr. Silver Mugisha and Patrick Byamukama were beaten by Gisagara after scoring 69.1% and 61.7% respectively in interviews.
Gisagara replaced Dr. William Muhairwe in acting capacity in November last year, whereupon a process to appoint a substantive MD kicked off in February this year.
However, the Michael Werikhe chaired committee was treated to unsolicited drama when NWSC Corporation Secretary, Sarah Walusimbi acknowledged board resolutions appointing Gisagara, that NWSC board chairperson, Christine Nandyose was strenuously denying.
“Do you own this document,” Reagan Okumu (Aswa) asked Walusimbi minutes after Nandyose had rejected any knowledge of the board meeting.
After a cursory glance at the document, Walusimbi said she wrote the resolutions, but they were not for public consumption.
Nandyose, however, insisted that NWSC board has not yet appointed a substantive MD.
“The board has ranked and recommended names to the sector minister. The process is far from being concluded because this is a key sector whose managers have to be scrutinized,” she said.
According to section 16 of the NWSC Act, it’s the mandate of the NWSC board to appoint the NWSC MD.
With Gisagara having been in acting capacity for more than the mandatory six months, however, MPs Eddie Kwizera and Okumu warned that actions taken by his administration can be challenged in court as illegalities.
With the mandate of the current board set to expire at the end of this month, the Minister of Water and Environment, Maria Mutagamba said that names of people to constitute a new board will soon be discussed and approved by cabinet.
Earlier legislators had faulted the minister for dragging her feet over the appointing of a new board which might scupper efforts to appoint a new NWSC boss.
Meanwhile, MPs heard that the former NWSC boss, Muhairwe ‘blackmailed’ the board into retaining him on improved terms.
According to NWSC Director, D.M Kakuba, the board decided to cancel Muhairwe’s contract and award him a new five year contract on better terms after informing them of his intention to join National Social Security Fund (NSSF), mid-way his second five year contract.
Kakuba said the corporation made the tradeoff because it was keen to retain Muhairwe’s expertise.
However, information available at ministry of finance, according to Kwizera, indicates that Muhairwe was beaten to third place by former NSSF boss, David Chandi Jamwa.
“This was blackmail on Muhairwe’s part and abuse of power by the NWSC board,” Kwizera said.
The legislators have ordered the NWSC board to produce minutes of the board meeting during which Muhairwe was awarded a new improved contract. They also want his appointment letter at NSSF.
MPs contend that since section 16 of the NWSC makes it categorical for an MD to serve for a non-renewable five year term, the board flouted the law when it kept Muhairwe in his position for 13 years without seeking the Solicitor General’s approval.
MPs query NWSC MD appointment process