By the Capital Times Investigative Unit
As promised in the First part of the Energy Mafia Series, In part 2, we bring you the background to the larceny that has brought darkness to our country for the past few years and how they have failed the President to meet his targets in the energy sector despite a persistent budget of over 2 Trillion Shillings per Financial Year.
It is safe to begin this part by stating that our investigation team has reliably discovered that all villages in Uganda would at present be lit with electricity had it not been for the over 10 years of plundering by a well crafted cartel led by the deposed long serving Permanent Secretary of Energy Mr F. X. Kabagambe Kaliisa aka Don KK. With 21 years at the helm of the evidently most profitable Ministry in Government, Don KK became the grandfather of venality under the NRM Government, having no other motivation but greed and power.
At the apex of the Energy Mafia structure, Don KK assembled a nexus of accomplices across all the MDAs, Media, Security and the private sector as deemed necessary to his corrupt equation of extracting money from government. This is probably the whole reason it has been so difficult for our devoted President to follow the trail of billions that went to the corrupt energy coterie almost on a daily basis. It indeed took a well assembled team of young patriotic individuals of extremely high levels of integrity supervised by the HE himself to break the back of Don KK’s decade’s old shady circle in order to bring sanity back to REA and the Ministry of Energy at best.
Don KK was good at using underhand machinations to get rid of the highly efficient, Russian and Harvard trained Hydro-Technical structural Engineer Hon. Hilary Obaloker Onek. Eng.
Onek was the very first Energy minister to question the excesses of PS Don KK and this did not go down well with him. This could indeed explain the reason why the better part of Northern Uganda has had all the projects built with substandard materials since 2011, putting it in total darkness. With the political supervision of cheap manageable pawns in Ministers; the 69 year old Simon Dujang and the 60 year old Irene Nafuna Muloni in place, Don KK set about building his mafia empire in the different agencies as we will show in series to come.
There is no doubt that having looked at the available stock of inabilities of the possible technically astute political supervisors for the energy sector, Don KK used the trust given to him by the President to influence any of the influential Presidential Advisors to bring on board a stained team of inept former Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) Engineers – Eng. Simon Giw Dujang and Eng. Irene Muloni. Don KK had files of incriminating material on both; Hon. Dujang left UEB at the mercy of then Minister of Energy, Hon. Matthew Rukikaire after swiddling UGX 20 Billion and Muloni was an accomplice in the illegal UMEME contract, making them very suitable targets to work on his terms.t
With that mission accomplished, Don KK was sent to now align all the energy institutions into his path so that money would be reported or channeled to his accounts through well selected and trusted co-conspirators as long as a contract is being signed.
It is on record that this, brought him into loggerheads with the shortest serving PS in the history of the civil service of Uganda, Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija when he discovered the dirt of the PS while still serving as Chairman of UEGCL.
The quick forgetting Dr. Isabalija was later to become a victim of the mafia circles built by Don KK. This was after having been proposed by Gen. Salim Saleh to the President as the most capable cadre to replace the crooked Don KK as the PS Energy. Dr. Isabalija is said to been set up to receive a bribe of $30,000 through Kaliisa’s then blue-eyed errand boy Mr. John Turyagyenda involving a Chinese company – CIADC which was pursuing a contract to build the 330 MW Kiba Hydro Power Dam in Nwoya District along the River Nile. But all in all, PS Kaliisa had indeed become a threat to the National Security as a result of selling information to different companies about the Mineral Wealth and Energy resources in Uganda.
Contrary to information in the main stream media especially the paid for articles of the New Vision, our investigative team has discovered that the impasse in Rural Electrification Agency has nothing to do with power struggles between Werikhe and Turyahikayo at the agency, but it is rather a refusal to correct the wrongs that were built under the reign of PS Kaliisa by the subsequent Permanent Secretaries that have followed since it was found to be a harvesting ground for what was not planted.
Our sources have obtained copies of dossiers to the New Vision that are coming from the current PS Energy and Chairman of the REA Board, Mr. Robert Kasande, in a bid to cover up the current mess that has been discovered by the President and other concerned citizens.
Back in 2012-2013, PS Kaliisa aka Don KK faced stern resistance from Mr. Godfrey Turyahikayo, the Executive Director (ED), REA who could not accept to be used as a conduit for corruption. The man from Kigezi along with the President are actually the main architects of the rural electrification project, and there is no way he could allow the PS as the Chairman of the Board to swindle resources meant to push the country further ahead in terms of access to power. This refusal came at the backdrop of the ED asking a particular company named LTL Holdings (now renamed Cylex) by then to rectify the messy works they had done on some of the lines in Acholi Region.
With this, the then Manager Project Management, Designs and Implementation, Mr. Godfrey Werikhe Khauka (He is a Mr. because we have confirmed that both Werikhe and Mr. John Abouf Turyagyenda never undertook the mandatory period under supervision to get the Engineers Certificate from the Engineers Registration Board) was then elevated and appointed to the position of Deputy ED responsible for Technical Operations while his protégé Mr. John Abouf Turyagyenda was moved from Project Engineer to the position of Manager, Project Management, Designs and Implementation. These two were given first class tickets to the office of the PS/Chairman of the Board, leaving the ED with little room for man-oeuvre when it comes to Technical operations oversight.
In reports seen by our team, the ED did not relent to the pressure from Kaliisa and indeed kept his full oversight over the implementation of the projects by conducting regular internal audits. Our investigative team observes that with Don KK at the helm of the board, was let down every time he brought or queried the incompetence and abuse of office by the Kaliisa boys – Werikhe and Turyagyenda. This was further implemented on behalf of Don KK by his rubber stamp ministers – Dujang and Muloni who indeed brought to the board an additional 3 members – Ida Wanendeya, Annette Mulindwa Nakawunde and Olivia Kabaale, whose job was nothing but to protect the erratic Technical Operations personnel led by Mr. Werikhe and Mr. Turygayenda.
The limited prophylaxis to this corrupt hemorrhage was initially seen under the Chairmanship of Dr. Isabalija on the 3rd May 2017 when Mr. Werikhe acknowledged that under his supervision, he had caused a financial loss of about Shs. 20 Billion to the agency due to his incompetence and negligence (Attached pages 1-2). It was this case that brought to the fore the genesis of the investigations and counter investigations in both REA and the Ministry since Dr. Isabalija had stepped in the food plate of the invisible mafias.
With Werikhe charged in the board meeting, the mafias went into overdrive to see how this situation can be salvaged. A report obtained by our team indicates that in the follow up meeting, it was resolved that Werikhe should be interdicted, and a technical audit conducted on all the lines (schemes) from 2010 up until 2017 in order to have the faults rectified as well as getting to know the actual loss incurred.
The mafias through John Turyagyenda took some greasing money to the Board Chairman Dr. Isabalija and the 2 Ministers – Eng. Dujang and Eng. Muloni; from here they agreed to send both Werikhe and Mr. Turyahikayo on an indefinite leave while they conduct the agreed “Technical Audit”.
This left Mr. Turyagyenda in the position of Acting ED, and with the authority to destroy any evidence that would implicate them for the massive corruption they had been operating with. However the Board and Ag. ED actually conducted a watered-down management Audit, not technical as was required by the Board. The former would have covered the technical aspects of the projects implemented by the organisation while the latter is simply an assessment of the overall management of the company, not even the performance of individual managers. This audit and as will be seen in the next series became the ultimate tool for the mafia in energy to dismantle the working norms of the agency.
In part 3 of the Energy Mafias series, we bring to you the modus operandi of the invisible cartel that has also consumed Dr. Isabalija and brought John Turyagyenda to the Apex. What is the truth about the fake Factory Acceptance Test and how we are flooded with substandard materials? Which government agencies have been incorporated into the mess and how are they working to bring down the NRM Government? How have they created new load centres and the real status of TBEA – the fictional company? Was the Parliament hoodwinked by the Ministers of State for Energy and Finance to pass the TBEA Loan without due diligence on the fake company?
Below is Part 1