Uganda: Bemanya's Contract Renewed 9 Months Ahead of Schedule

The contract of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) registrar general Bemanya Twebaze has been renewed, nine months to the expiry of the current contract.

In a letter to Bemanya dated June 27, 2019, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kahinda Otafiire said he was acting on the recommendation by the URSB's board of directors on June 19, 2019, asking the contract be renewed.

The contract, according to Otafiire, takes effect from March 2020 and will run for five years. Bemanya will earn Shs 13.3 million monthly which will make up Shs 159 million annually. It is not yet clear whether Bemanya, who has been at URSB since 2012, has accepted the offer.

This renewal comes at a time when Bemanya is at the centre of controversy over his role as the administrator of the Uganda Telecom. Bemanya has exchanged public spats with the State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite over the running of troubled Uganda Telecom (UTL). The latter wanted Bemanya relieved of his duties, accusing him of refusing to be audited in an attempt to sell off the telecom's assets.

In a letter dated July 3, President Museveni declined Anite's call for the replacement of Bemanya as the embattled telecom administrator. This appeared like a blow to Anite, although the president also directed that regular updates be made on what takes place in the administration of UTL.

The renewal of Bemanya's contract is a vote of confidence in his works by the government. It may not be related to his role at Uganda Telecom, but one observer said it can also be seen as a slap in the face for minister Anite.

URSB's main work is to register business names, companies, business documents, intellectual property like trademarks, patents, copyrights, utility models and designs. The agency also registers all marriages, licensing churches to celebrate marriages and solemnizing civil marriages.

In a short profile posted on URSB website, Bemanya's vision for the entity is an emphasis on the use of technology to support and simplify registration operations. It says under his leadership, URSB has continued to register notable success in improving service delivery, promoting private sector growth through enterprise formalisation and revenue collection.

Bemanya is a lawyer and holds an executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from ESAMI.

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