A section of concerned citizens alongside some staff of National Water and Sewerage corporation ‘NWSC’ under their whistle blower’s umbrella have implored State house Anti corruption unit headed by Lt Col Edith Nakalema to investigate the misappropriation of funds, nepotism, Corruption and mistreatment of NWSC staff by current leadership.
According to whistle blower’s report, aggrieved staff of NWSC staff accuse Managing Director Eng.Silver Mugisha of deducting their earnings at the corporation to support activities of Ba Mugisha Community Development Foundation, a vehicle used for promoting Mugisha’s wife Annet Katusiime Mugisha’s candidature in Bushenyi district.
In the document,the grieved employees of NWSC are questioning why they have been depositing these millions personal NGO of Executive Director and using his public office to finance and raise support for his wife’s political campaigns to secure a parliamentary seat. Actually his wife, Annet Katusiime Mugisha, trounced Mary Karooro Okurut, Minister for General Duties in Prime Minister’s Office, in the ruling NRM party primaries for Bushenyi woman Member of Parliament. She will again contest in the 2021 general elections representing NRM.
The written complaint states that: “…there is extortion of money from National Water and Sewerage Corporation staff to support activities of Ba Mugisha Community Development Foundation, a vehicle used for promoting Annet Katusiime Mugisha’s candidature in Bushenyi.”
“There is extortion of kickbacks from service providers and this is done by Dr. Silver Mugisha through his wife’s shadowy organization known as Ba Mugisha Community Development Foundation (BCWL). A thorough investigation should be carried out on his procurement dealings with among others VAMBECO, SOGEA SATOM and others,” the whistler-blower further states in a letter written on April 11, 2019 and received four days later on April 15th.
In the letter, the whistle blower also points out an irregular recruitment of 18 persons into the ranks of NWSC. Some of them are; Kahiji Paul, the FDC chairman for Bushenyi District, Turibamwe John, the regional security in Mbarara; Murani Sarah (Kabale), Elineo Mwine Yeremiya (Bushenyi), Musafiri Gerald (Buhweju), Kabazeyo Lilian (Kabushaho water office); Bashasha Edrine and Jafari Basajabalaba’s unnamed son and daughter.
“It should be noted that the majority of these employees are initially recruited as graduate trainees to circumvent recruitment procedures,” the whistle complains. The whistle blower also accuses Kateebe Francis, a regional manager stationed in Bushenyi, for misappropriating 15m and blamed the embezzlement on his junior staff including Rwakitooke Allan, Sylvia and Stephen, who were instead transferred.
However, Mugisha boasts that the Inspector General of Government has investigated National Water six times and didn’t find any incriminating evidence to support all the allegations against the Corporation.
But recently, intelligence has taken keen interest in some procurement transactions by National Water. Intelligence has since established that the Corporation dubiously procured two hotels; one in eastern Uganda and another in western Uganda, which allegation has been denied by NWSC officials.
“I am not aware that NWSC has bought any hotels. Maybe it is individuals. But what I know is that we intend to establish training centers in Lira (eastern Uganda) and either Mbarara or Bushenyi (western Uganda) to equip our plumbers,” the NWSC Public Relations Officer, Samuel Apedel, said.
But after he crosschecked with the procurement department, Apedel corrected his response confirming that actually NWSC had procured a hotel in Bushenyi at a cost of 5.2bn through open bidding. He also said in Lira, they intend to improve Kachum water treatment facility into a training facility.
“In Bushenyi, we wanted a facility that has space for meetings, conference hall and modest accommodation. In Lira, we are converting the treatment plant. We advertised the procurement for a contractor to handle the work and the deadline is October 26, 2020,” he clarified.
Sources though claim that NWSC procured Crane Resort Hotel from Tumusiime John Bosco in Ishaka, Bushenyi. Sources claim the hotel is valued at three billion shillings though.
But one wonders why an established Corporation like NWSC would procure a hotel in Bushenyi yet they already have a huge piece of land in Nyaruzinga in the same locality where they could have constructed a modern training facility at less the money they used to buy the hotel.
The NWSC spokesman said that all their employees are paid by an existing payroll unless those on urgent assignment to the field.
Earlier on that Dr Mugisha’s cell phone was used to send money via the mobile money platform close to 800 million shillings to boost his wife’s campaigns in Bushenyi.
In addition, in an interview with a former NWSC staff, it has been established that employees were being coerced to procure a book authored by Dr Mugisha at a cost of 40,000 to 50,000/= per copy.
Despite being acknowledged as a chief executive of international standing Dr Mugisha has failed to live up to professional management etiquette. He is always suspicious of co-workers, which has caused friction in management. For instance, in 2015 he accused a fellow manager of being a mole for President Museveni.
“In several meetings and private discussions with some people who have told me, MD has accused me of ferrying documents to state house. In November 2015, while at work, around 3pm, the MD invited me in his office and upon my arrival, I found him alone. He immediately asked me why I was working behind his back. He told me that he had got information from special forces command officers….that I had asked the president for the job of managing director at NWSC,” Ronald Bigirwa Muhangi, the then Senior Manager-western zone, formally complained to the Director of Human Resource on January 7, 2019. This matter is said to have attracted animosity within management until the Board intervened. Muhangi was later transferred to head north and east Uganda.
But when we talked to NWSC MD Eng.Silver Mugisha denied all the allegations. He only referred us to wait for final IGG’s investigations. Additional reporting by Skynews