18 May 2018

Uganda: Bigirimana Blames Mafias Over Rejection to Join Umeme Board

Kampala — Umeme shareholders have rejected the nomination of Mr Pius Bigirimana as a non-executive board member.

Mr Bigirimana, who was among the five nominees, had been nominated by NSSF, the Umeme majority shareholders.

A source who attended the closed door Umeme annual general meeting yesterday told Daily Monitor that shareholder had rejected Mr Bigirimana, accusing him of being a "spoiler" in the different ministries he has worked in.

Mr Bigirimana yesterday told Daily Monitor he would not be in position to understand their decision, adding that his rejection could have been the work of "mafias", who would have slightly fought his nomination.

"I heard that some people in the meeting claimed that I am involved in different scandals. But I have helped NSSF [through its board] to grow. I thought I would add value to Umeme," he said.

Asked why he could have been rejected, Mr Bigirimana said without explaining: "Mafia at work", adding "I do not know the reasons because I was not in the room [AGM]."

The shareholders, the source said, also directed NSSF to get another nominee who would replace Mr Bigirimana.

Mr Patrick Bitature, the Umeme chairman, yesterday said the shareholders had spoken and they would do as per their demand.

"The AGM [shareholders] have spoken. Servant leadership demands or means we do as they [shareholders] say," he said.

However, he declined to say how many shareholders had voted against Mr Bigirimana. Mr Stephen Ilungole, the Umeme public relations manager, yesterday said NSSF, who had wanted a second representative on the board, would have to nominate another person who would be approved at another annual general meeting next year.

In a notice last month, Umeme had informed shareholders that it would appoint Mr Bigirimana as a non-executive member pending necessary approvals.

Mr Bigirimana has previously worked in the Office of the Prime Minister and is the current permanent secretary at the Ministry of Gender.

In 2012, Mr Bigirimana was the permanent secretary when the Office of the Prime Minister was hit by a Shs21b scandal. He was later transferred to Gender Ministry where he remains to date.

Mr Bigirimana had been appointed around the same time when Umeme retired long serving deputy managing director, Mr Sam Zimbe.

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