Log in

Umeme shareholders reject Bigirimana over 'tainted, corrupt image'

Pius Bigirimana

Umeme shareholders have rejected ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development permanent secretary Pius Bigirimana as one of its board of directors. 

The shareholders, at their annual general meeting held at Sheraton Kampala hotel voted by a simple majority against the inclusion of Bigirimana on the board for the next one year.

Bigirimana had been nominated by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as a non-executive director of Umeme. NSSF is the biggest shareholder in Umeme and is partly under the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

Other nominees included Anthony March, Andrew Buglass, Stephen Emasu and Riccardo Ridolfi. After the nominees presented their credentials, they went out to allow for a vote, after some shareholders refused to endorse them without a vote. After a simple vote, the shareholders accepted all other nominees except Bigirimana.

They now join the board led by Patrick Bitature with members Gerald Sendaula, Florence Namatta Mawejje, Pieter Adriaan Falling, Selestino Babungi, the managing director, and Florence Nakimbugwe Nsubuga. Directors who resigned from the board are Charles Chapman, a founding management director of Umeme, Stuart David Michael Grylls, Christopher Nicholson and Adrian Mucalov.

A source that attended the meeting told URN that the shareholders rejected Bigirimana because they were uneasy about his tainted image over alleged corrupt practices. When URN arrived at the venue of the closed meeting, Bigirimana was moving out, apparently soon after being rejected.

Commenting on the rejection of Bigirimana at a press conference on the sidelines of the meeting, Bitature said it was the voice of the shareholders who have the powers to appoint the directors. Bitature said some shareholders opposed the nomination of Bigirimana but declined to divulge the reasons. 

He said if NSSF, which appointed Bigirimana, if aggrieved it can still demand for a poll, by virtue of its shareholding power. Meanwhile, the shareholders approved a dividend of Shs 7.5 per share, and Umeme will role out Shs 12 billion to its shareholders.

In 2014, Bigirimana launched an anti-corruption book, Corruption; A Tale of Two Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing but was accused by legislators and some members of civil society of failing to take responsibility when over Shs 50 billion of donor money meant for Karamoja and post-war reconstruction of northern Uganda was stolen under his watch at the Office of Prime Minister. 

Last week, Bigirimana also came under scrutiny before the land probe commission after he reportedly requested and received Shs 504 million from the Land Fund in 2016 for 50.5 acres of land on plot 5 Bulemeezi, block 103 that had been encroached on by squatters despite not qualifying for the compensation. 

"Because you knew it was not a normal transaction, you knew Mr Bigirimana that you did not qualify why didn’t you return that money to government. We know you as a corruption free man, zero corruption. That is the concept that you [portray] but am a bit out for whether you stay in honour of that in view of these transactions that you have made", said land probe commissioner Robert Ssebunya. 

The commission's lead counsel Ebert Byenkya said that Bigirimana's documentation is covered in inconsistencies and that he did not qualify for compensation. According to Byenkya, the first registration dated May 14, 2004, was in the name of Joseph Nsubuga, the administrator of the late Nsubuga and the second registration of Fenekansi Kalyesubula strangely captured for a previous date of May 13, 2004. Bigirimana's registration on the land title is April 19, 2008. 

Bigirimana told the commission that he never paid attention to the dates, triggering questions on the intent of the purchase of the said land and a debate on how government officials are conniving to swindle resources set aside for the common man. Bigirimana pleaded that he never got to know that he did not qualify for the compensation but if the commission thinks he did not qualify, he is ready to follow their recommendation. 

Recently, in an interview with CBS radio after being ordered to vacate Nommo gallery, Security minister Gen Elly Tumwiine branded Bigirimana and secretary to the treasury in ministry of Finance, Keith Muhakanizi as "thieves".

“Both Pius Bigirimana and Keith Muhakanizi are thieves, I told them point blank in their faces, they are the thieves in prime minister’s, they are accounting officers according to section 55 of the finance act, if you lose money, you are held responsible,” Gen Tumwine said.

Bigirimana's Gender ministry had demanded that Tumwiine starts paying rent for using Nommo gallery but Tumwiine argued, saying the gallery was given to the artists by then President Milton Obote and that its not government property. 

Comments   

+2 #1 Phalanch 2018-05-17 18:42
Let me get this straight ,Is Umeme saying no to Bigirimana the bean weevil ??

B'se if it's about corrupting, we all know that a corrupt mind is now requirement under corrupt master mind.
Quote | Report to administrator
+2 #2 Lakwena 2018-05-17 18:56
In other words, as cunning as a fox, Bigiri's book: Corruption; A Tale of Two Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing was a hoodwink and smoke screen.
Quote | Report to administrator
+2 #3 Mubiru 2018-05-17 19:00
So General Tumwine can't be vilified for calling this man and the Secretary to the Treasury "thieves". With thieves in "milky" jobs milking the Cow (read Uganda) alone as if they have the monopoly of its ownership, what kind of lives to they expect us (the under class) as they imagine calling us to undergo?.

One day they will be called upon to account for the profligate lives they are enjoying. Uganda is or used to be a laughing stock but no sane person with "Uganda at Heart" can laugh any more when the country is being annihilated by thieves and murderers.

Umeme shareholders' decision should be an eye opener to the looters of our country.
Quote | Report to administrator
+1 #4 Ed Kizito 2018-05-18 07:54
He is part and parcel of the people who are busy destroying this Country deliberately.

He comes from that club that is hell bent of making Ugandans suffer. His image and that of his relatives(first family) is irredeemable.

In short, Bigirimana is a lucky man with a name destabilising Uganda. You Bigirimana's in Uganda have done enough damage to us.
Quote | Report to administrator
+1 #5 Concerned Ugandan 2018-05-18 09:18
Quoting Phalanch:
Let me get this straight ,Is Umeme saying no to Bigirimana the bean weevil ??

B'se if it's about corrupting, we all know that a corrupt mind is now requirement under corrupt master mind.


In a word no. It is the shareholders that have refused Bigirimana and despite Umeme's own dodgy reputation, this is still a good thing as it is a sign that people are starting to openly shun some of these smooth operators.

We can only pray that this trend continues to build up momentum.
Quote | Report to administrator
0 #6 eric L 2018-05-18 20:05
This is interesting.The truth is Bigirimana was seen as a party spoiler for the thieving Umeme.

Since When did Umeme get a reputation of fighting corruption, was this after paying off government lawyers to award it a very compromised contract, where whatever the level of service they give,they have assurance for 25 years.

Give me a break Umeme. Why does your parent company in no hurry to associate directly with you for the world to know!!
Quote | Report to administrator
0 #7 rubangakene 2018-05-18 20:43
Another one bites the dust! Surely someone has now opened the "BLACKBOOK" and started 'operationalising' what we have been waiting for; watch this space for more heads to roll!
Quote | Report to administrator