By the Capital Times Investigative Unit
In part 3 of the Energy Mafias series, we analyse what some would believe is the biggest conspiracy under the NRM Government by bringing to you the modus operandi of the invisible cartel commandeered by former PS Kabagambe Kallisa and has also consumed Dr. Isabalija while bringing Mr. John Turyagyenda to its apex.
1. THE FULCRUM AND GREASE OF THE OPERATION
It has been sometime before we could release the Third Part of the Energy Mafia Series, but it’s all because of the difficulty it takes to untangle the massive cobweb in the 30 years of premeditated theft the former PS Energy Mr. F X Kabagambe Kallisa had built.
In a state of the art act, Mr. Kabagambe Kallisa took his time to hoodwink the appointing authority in giving him Ministers he was able to blackmail save for Eng. Hillary Onek and to some extent the senior NRM Cadre, Mr. Daudi Migereko (although he built a hotel from the Energy Heist).
Mr. Kallisa ensured that during his time, over eight companies and agencies were created but he would remain the super CEO with the ultimate goal of appointing board members through his already compromised Ministers, something that became worse under Eng. Irene Muloni and Eng. Simon Dujang.
Both Dujang and Muloni served under him as Managing Directors of Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) and Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL). During this period, Dujang survived being banished from the energy sector after being caught red-handed for causing massive financial losses to UEB while his predecessor Muloni along with Engineer Sam Zimbe, Hon. Syda Bumba (then Minister of Energy) and PS Kabagambe worked together to sign the fraudulent UMEME concession agreement in New York in 2005.
This team alongside Eng. Elias Kiyimba, David Sebabi, Paul Male and Luuka Buljan renegotiated the initial concession that would have had power tariffs at 5 cents per Kilowatt and brought it to 11 cents/Kilowatt – a whopping 6 cents more than the HE had negotiated making Uganda’s electricity tariffs one of the most expensive in the world. These powerful energy mafias were able to bring Muloni to the top of the agency and during this time, they were facilitated to abuse every article in the UMEME concession as well as the entire energy sector negotiations.
The UMEME/UEB team had claimed to have invested over US $500 Million in electricity distribution infrastructure, money they have been asking government to allow them recover over the past 20 years in operation. This concession agreement has forever rendered Ugandans electricity slaves in their own country and according to our investigative team, the current team at the Ministry of Energy is in the process of giving another US $400 Million to UMEME a private company.
This is a loan signed off by the Ugandan Government from the World Bank and due to the opposition by the officials of the Ministry of Finance as well as the Executive Director Rural Electrification Agency, Mr. Godfrey Turyahikayo, it is has brought the main differences between the Ministry and REA hence baying for the ED’s exit from the agency at all costs to protect their bounty. The reality is that the Energy mafias obtain money from Government account that is supposed to be utilised by Government agencies – UEDCL and REA to construct and maintain electricity lines.
The equivalent of this money is then channelled through UMEME the collector to the Mafia bags and the regulatory authority will always provide a certificate of clearance to the utility company as having used the money in repairs and maintenance of the power lines that have already been built by Government organs. This level of impunity has seen the very ministry ignore the President’s directives time and again because the mafia circle here has totally blackmailed the President on political terms as untouchables.
As noted earlier, PS Kallisa took time to skilfully build a strategic ground for siphoning funds from the public without the citizens questioning the art through which they could share the funds.
All this was done through crafting morally reprehensible Statutory Instruments and Acts devoid of serious public scrutiny. Under the current PS Robert Kasande, an in-law to former PS Kallisa, who was moved swiftly through the ranks despite his incompetence and total inexperience in public administration, the acts of smuggling such bad Instruments have been challenged by the highly alert public. PS Kallisa was very strategic in recruiting and placing young boys in positions of influence and hence with the incompetent Kasande, there is Godfrey Werikhe, John Turyagyenda, Abdon Atwiine, the very corrupt Moses Murengezi, the sly Tom Buriguriza and the Muloni Family Empire (her 3 Children, 1 in-law, 2 nieces are employees of ERA)– Electricity Regulatory Authority.
Other than ERA which is the main financial ground for the entire energy mafia family – because it adjusts the Electricity tariffs by a mere Shs. 50 to channel off almost Shs. 5 Billion in a single month and this is always covered as UMEME expenses (this will be an investigative story for another time as our team is still drawing more information on how UMEME has been used to swindle money by a few individuals in the energy sector). We have reliable information that indicates the country can actually run on low tariffs and ably encourage Small Scale Industries so long as the Leadership of the Ministry of Energy including the current Minister Hon. Mary Goretti Kituttu, who is in the pockets of the Mafia are replaced with capable technocrats and incorruptible political supervisors.
The calibre of personnel recruited by PS Kallisa is all about protecting their eating tuff, and bump off any official that is in line with the Government’s pro-poor agenda, meant to improve people’s livelihood through increased access to affordable power.
These series may have focused on the Energy sector but the whole Ministry is worse and fully dotted with Kallisa Generals who will make everything fail so long as their chief is not in control – look at how they hurriedly replaced the Uganda National Oil Company Chief Executive Officer with disregard of the Presidential Directive to halt the recruitment.
With Kallisa having built a cross generational power base of the above mentioned boys within the Ministry of Energy, the Commander in Chief and President of the Republic of Uganda, General Yoweri K. Museveni started getting wind of the frustrations that, they alongside Kallisa were bringing unto the investors in both the Minerals and Energy Sectors and with credible evidence, he was deposed off summarily.
His immediate replacement Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija, in whom very many senior Government cadres had a genuine hope for bringing back functionality in the Ministry, did not know that the Blue-eyed boys of the Mafia kingpin Kallisa were waiting to nail him where it hurts most in order to protect their animal.
Indeed, Mr. John Abouf Turyagyenda, then a Manager, Projects Designs and Management was quick to oil the throat of the thirsty Dr. Isabalija with a hefty US$300,000 and a brand new Black Landcruiser GX 2015 Model, but little did he know that this handshake was coming with serious terms and conditions. The poisoned chalice in a monetary gift from Turyagyenda was indeed used by the Kallisa boys to officially bring Dr. Isabalija to their corner, and that is how they were able to easily get rid of him with extra extortionist acts that would turn against him within the shortest time possible.
To that effect, following the interdiction of Mr. Turyagyenda and Mr. Werikhe from REA, our snoops have on various occasions spotted Dr. Isabalija in the company of the Director CID, AIGP Grace Akullo over discussions on how to kill off the Presidential investigation and bring Mr. Turyagyenda to the helm of REA.
It should be noted that whereas the President’s investigative team was thorough and committed to bring the rot in the Energy Ministry to the logical conclusion, there are still very many past investigations against this group of energy employees that have always been bungled midway after hundreds and millions of dollars have exchanged hands including the famous IGG Report that was released by this website recently after the Minister had refused to act.
The survival of this crew has been on buying off any investigation into their criminal activities or scaring off any official with an intention of inquiring into their deeds since their line of clout had been well knit across all offices. For example, in a voice recording obtained by our snoops, Mr. Turyagyenda is heard offering to one of the President’s investigators US $3 Million from near Kampala Parents which was to be shared with her team and abandon the President’s investigation.
But as fate would have it, this group refused to take this bribe considering that the activities of Werikhe and Turyagyenda alongside the Ministry of Energy leadership are now bordering a threat to national security. This bid to bribe the official did hold and the unit went on with its task, prompting the President to ask for the prosecution of the two individuals – Godfrey Khaukha Werikhe and John Abouf Turyagyenda.
Similarly, copies gotten of another investigation that was conducted under file reference CID HQs: GEF/1233/2018 indicates the two unregistered Engineers – Turyagyenda and Werikhe as guilty of causing massive financial losses to the agency, but as it has become the norm in Kibuli CID Headquarters, this file was immediately recalled and destroyed by CID Director AIGP Akullo with the backing of the Chairperson Rural Electrification Board and PS Energy Mr. Kasande as well as the former Minister Eng. Irene Muloni and Hon. Syda Bumba (an Ex Minister of Energy and Ex – Girlfriend and Business Partner of the former PS Kabagambe Kallisa.)
The corruption within the sector is unprecedented because the level of cover up has always been unmatched, a fate that would bring government security agencies to also question the calibre of sabotage that has been ongoing unchecked for over 20 years.
The Ministry of Energy has lost very many brilliant and patriotic civil servants because they cannot stand the level of blackmail by this circle.
We have acquired credible information that some of these guys especially Mr. John Abouf Turyagyenda and his associates using the money acquired from contractors to build a palatial lifestyle, have resorted to use names of the members of the first family to intimidate people who would have stuck to their guns and what to perform their public service call to the dot.
It is this fear that they had instilled in the institutions with the support of the Permanent Secretaries and the Ministers that they would openly extort money from individuals or bias contract outcomes to the detriment of Government since the performance would become zero.
In the process, Turyagyenda shops for the quack companies to award contract, then he assigns his juniors to supervise, signs the contract certificates of completion for payments and brings in his supervisor Werikhe for a photo moment to act as if they are commissioning a credible line. In 2014, these two Engineers – Werikhe and Turyagyenda combined to share the loot of over Shs. 15 Billion on 3 important projects that would have extended power to many areas in Acholi, Bunyoro and the Kiruhura – Sembabule corridor.
This major discovery was one of the reasons as to why the mafia circle decided to do away with the integrity in the agency since they could afford to buy everyone that would come around including Parliament.
Following the above discovery after very many complaints from the affected locals, we had noted that the current ED REA; Mr. Turyahikayo, a man on incorruptible stance and well-grounded in issues of sustainable renewable energy, authorised an internal investigation which confirmed the allegations of construction using substandard materials and equipment. As earlier reported, the ED then brought this issue to the board chaired by Dr. Isabalija.
Consequently, like it has been re-acted under Kasande, both the ED and D/ED were sent on forced leave together for 6 months, and this paved way for Dr. Isabalija’s new found love – John Turyagyenda to act as ED. At the time, the agency was bidding for two keystone projects funded by African Development Bank (US$100 Million) and EXIM Bank of China (US $212 Million).
Turyagyenda who already had information about these big projects automatically went into over drive along with the Chairperson of the Board Dr. Isabalija to have these loans passed as fast as possible. Indeed, they were passed and companies were assembled to take on particular lots from which they would be used as a conduit for swindling the funds.
The bidding process started at time when Dr. Isabalija had already been shown the exit by the President, and this coincided with the return of the Mr. Turyahikayo who had in the first place been suspended under unclear circumstances.
However, we have obtained reliable information that Mr. Turyagyenda was supposed to clear all the technical evidence as the Manager Projects Design and Management that could have been used to implicate the mafias when Mr. Werikhe was found guilty by the board for commissioning and maintaining Poor Networks with low Quality and Procurement of Defective pre-payment materials.
Turyagyenda also used this time to constitute an evaluation committee chaired by one of his trusted lieutenants, Bishop Samuel. Other members on the committee were largely fresh graduates on Engineers in Training program, hence removing experienced Engineers who would question the capacity and experience of some of the companies he had wanted to take up the majority of the projects such C&G Andjiers belonging to his good friend – Hon. Cosmas Elotu, MP Dakabela Constituency. This company has always been used to supply substandard poles – and of recent it is being given contracts to supply concrete poles.
According to one of the senior female REA engineer who was originally removed by Turyagyenda from the evaluation committee, this group of young and inexperienced Engineers was taken to Mika Eco-Resort, a luxurious hotel in Hoima belonging to PS Kabagambe Kallisa. Here, they were given instructions on which companies to award contracts of which the highly disputed C&G was to receive 4 out of the 6 contracts under the African Development Bank project.
Information yet to be verified indicates that the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Bishop Samuel was awarded with an apartment block at a cost of US $180,000 in Luzira, since he was performing to the best of their expectations.
With time not on their side, the ED was returned in time to save the country one of the biggest fraudulent plots that was about to occur and this has not augured well with a string of members that had already been resigned to receive their pay cut once the deal is sealed.
This brought with it fundamental changes that we shall look at in Part IV and why the impasse at the Ministry of Energy under Hon. Mary Goretti Kituttu who had been brought to clear the mess but rather ended up joining hands with her incompetent university classmate PS Kasande.
Further detail to this and the commissions changing hands to come in Part IV of the Energy Mafia Series anytime this week.