Minister Anite, UIA Bosses Clash Over Controversial UGX545 Million Honoraria Payment


A heated dispute has emerged between the State Minister for Privatisation and Investment, Ms Evelyn Anite, and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) concerning a 545 million shillings payment labelled as “honoraria” to top UIA management.

The payment, drawn from funds allocated for the Kampala Industrial Park Development (KIPD) project and financed through a loan, has sparked controversy and accusations of misappropriation.

In a stern letter dated June 12 addressed to the UIA board chairperson, Mr Morrison Rwakakamba and Ms Anite condemned the honoraria payment as “despicable, uncouth, barbaric, and uncultured.” She accused UIA’s top management of misusing project funds that have remained stagnant for five years beyond their initial completion date of January 5, 2024.

Ms. Anite demanded the immediate return of the entire amount by the director-general, Mr. Robert Mukiza, and his team within 24 hours of receiving her directive. She warned of severe consequences should they fail to comply promptly.

In response, Mr. Mukiza defended the payment as lawful, citing contractual agreements that sanctioned such allowances. He suggested that the minister might not have been fully informed or might have misunderstood the details outlined in the contracts.

The UIA is tasked with spearheading and supporting the Ugandan government’s investment initiatives and policies. According to Anite’s letter, Mr Mukiza and eight other officials allocated 280 million shillings on July 23, 2023, for assuming additional responsibilities to oversee the infrastructure development of the project in August 2022.

The allocation breakdown includes Mr Mukiza receiving 82 million shillings, his deputy Dr Paul Kyalimpa 58 million shillings, and Ms Patience Kabije, the contracts and claims manager, 43 million shillings, among others.

The controversy deepened when additional payments in euros were disclosed, revealing substantial sums allocated to project management team members, including the KIPD project manager, Mr Alex Nuwagira, and the project engineer, Mr. Felix Tumukunde Beinamaryo.

Mr. Mukiza had previously requested additional honoraria on June 10, a request Ms. Anite promptly instructed to rescind. She directed UIA’s leadership to focus on project completion rather than pursuing personal gain through diverted project loans.

Mr. Rwakakamba indicated that the board had endorsed the payments, citing internal communications. This decision has sparked public outcry amidst ongoing claims of mismanagement, corruption, and inflated project costs within the KIPD initiative.

The Kampala Industrial Park Development project, funded by a 249 million euros loan from the UK Export Finance and Standard Chartered Bank of London, aims to bolster industrialization efforts in Uganda. It includes road construction, bridges, a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) hub, and related infrastructure to attract and support industrial investors.

Despite acknowledging project delays, UIA officials maintain that the initiative will reach completion by September 2025. Internal documents from the agency justify the honoraria payments as necessary for consultant responsibilities reassigned after terminating the Owner’s Engineer (OE) in August 2022.

The Uganda Investment Authority asserts that honoraria, akin to other allowances, are subject to statutory deductions such as PAYE and NSSF contributions, as stipulated by Ugandan tax and social security laws. They argue that these payments are justified under UIA’s human resources manual for exceptional work outside normal job duties requiring specialized skills and significant time commitments.


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