A concerned citizen has raised a red flag over an irregular trip taken by state minister for privatisation Evelyn Anite to Mauritius in which the whistleblower says the minister’s secret travel was aimed at irregularly sealing a deal for a UTL strategic investor.
In a letter addressed to the State House Anti-corruption Unit and the IGG, the concerned Ugandan demands an investigation.
The whistleblower notes that the minister left the country under the guise of going for her graduation in the US but later sneaked into Marutious via France to meet her preferred investor.
What makes the trip, even more, suspicious, it was reportedly not booked in Uganda before her departure for the US.
The whistleblower further says that in Mauritius, Anite met with a team responsible for ensuring the deal happens and they acquire UTL at a much less value than the asset value estimated at USD 84m.
After her meeting, Anite is said to have dashed back to the US and then back to Uganda to conceal her to trip Mauritius.
The whistleblower also refers to a recently reported trip that officials from Mauritius Telecom made to Kampala.
It is said that the officials had mounted pressure on the Minister to close the deal. It is at the same time that Anite launched a campaign in the media to have Bemanya Twebaze removed from being the Administrator and branded colleagues in the cabinet as mafia.
“Indeed sources close to the Honorable Minister indicate that the assets she acquired soon after her dealings with Mauritius Telecom are not commensurate to her earnings as Member of Parliament and junior Minister,” says the whistleblower in the letter to anti-corruption agencies of government.
Adding: “I find her conduct tantamounting to influence peddling, abuse of office, corruption, and conduct unbecoming of a Minister and Honorable Member of Parliament. I have reliable information that Hon Anite secretly left the USA around 4th August 2019 and traveled to Mauritius via France”.
The concerned Ugandan questions Anite’s vested interests in dealing with the Mauritius telecom officials yet they are offering less value to UTL. Additionally, the whistleblower points out the fact that Anite continued to handle matters of UTL despite being on leave.
“All her other official matters were handled by Hon Bahati except UTL matters in which she has personal interests. This was irregular considering she was officially on leave,” the letter reads further.
The whistleblower also questions Anite’s conduct using her social media to challenge cabinet positions.
“Following the RT Honorable Speaker’s ruling, she went ahead on social and mainstream media to discuss and challenge a Cabinet decision, this behavior is unconstitutional and contrary to the rules of procedure of Parliament and contravenes collective responsibility,” adds the letter to the Anti-corruption Unit.”
“The language and tone of her letters written in official capacity addressing her Senior colleagues undermines their offices and sets a bad precedent on how to conduct government business. Making unsubstantiated allegations against a Government she represents is unacceptable. The Minister should, therefore, be held responsible for this conduct and discipline,” the concerned citizen observes.
Since June this year, Anite has written several correspondences in a bid to pile pressure on the Office of the Attorney General to have the Official Receiver, Bemanya Twebaze removed from his position as Administrator of UTL although her wish hit a dead end with the Office of the Attorney General, the Auditor General and Ministry of Finance who arguing the removal of Bemanya can only be sanctioned by court.
The government bodies also warned that interference into the administration of the telecom risks attracting liability to the government since it could inhibit sourcing of a viable investment.