Prof. Peter Kasenene resigns as NIRA's board chair

By Paul Kiwuuwa

Judy Bitre-Gama, the Executive Director NIRA revealed to the MPs on Wednesday that Kasenene had resigned his position of chairperson of the board.

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The Chairperson Board of National Identification and Registration Authority Prof. Peter Kasenene and the Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odong during the swearing in of some of Authority Board Members in Kampala on August 08, 2017. Photo by Miriam Namutebi


KAMPALA - Prof. Peter Kasenene, the chairperson of the National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) board, has resigned his position, MPs  on the defense and internal affairs committee have heard.

NIRA is the government entity mandated to register births and deaths in the country and develop a national identification register for both citizens and legal residents. It is  also responsible for issuing national identification numbers and cards for  citizens and admitted alien.  

Judy OBitre Gama, the executive director NIRA revealed to the MPs on Wednesday that  Kasenene had resigned his position of chairperson of the board. She said Ruth Kavuma Mvumenta, the board vice-chairperson was the acting board chair.  

Committee chairperson Judith Nabakooba (Mityana district Woman MP) wondered why Kasenene, who had appeared before the committee in March, had resigned suddenly.

" I have not received the official communication of Kasenene's resignation, but I know he has resigned." Gama said.

When New Vision contacted Kasenene, he admitted having resigned his position.

"Yes, I resigned the position of chairperson NIRA board early April due to health reasons," Kasenene said.

The NIRA board was inaugurated on June 8, 2015 by the the internal affairs minister,  Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, with nine members who include Mvumenta; Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, who is also chairman Electoral Commission; James Saaka, the executive director, NITA-U and Dr Benon Mutambi the permanent secretary internal affairs ministry.

Others were Ben Paul Mungyereza, Gama, Bemanya Twebaze, Partrick Kabunakuki and Enid Edroma, the board secretary. 

The press was requested to leave the committee for 1 hour to pave way for investigations in camera , when they press retuned, Nabakooba disclosed  that  Enid Edroma the Board Secretary has  also threatened   to resign.

According to Nabakooba, Edroma  had  promised to tender her resignation to NIRA board by yesterday.

When New Vision contacted Edroma, she declined to comment on the issue.

" I suspect something wrong in NIRA which board members do not want to reveal. It is strange that two board members should resign within the same period," Nabakooba said.   

The committee was shocked when Gama tabled unsigned minutes of the board from meetings, which were held 2016 and 2017.

This prompted the legislators to hand Gama to the Police Criminal Investigation Department attached to Parliament to record a statement.  

Mpigi Woman MP Sarah Nakawunde observed that the minutes were outlined without any resolutions made by the board of directors.

Nabakooba said Kasene had resigned at a time her committee had summoned the NIRA board to explain circumstances under which 117 former NIRA workers were fired. The fired data registration officers petitioned Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, seeking compensation.

Nabakooba said the committee had also wanted the NIRA board to answer queries over the Auditor General's (AG) report 2016/2017, which revealed gross financial management in the registration of learners project.

The December 2017 report titled, Verification of funds spent for the registration of learners exercise in the 2016/2017 under National Identification and Registration Authority" reveals that NIRA failed to account for huge sums of money and flouted procurement procedures.

According to the AG's report, NIRA failed to account for Sh8.4b paid to various officials as facilitation during the learners' registration exercise.

The project was meant to give learners national identification numbers (NIN), which would be used for the issuance of a national ID, once the children turn 18 years.