The National Water and Sewerage Corporation has come out to dismiss as malicious, reports that implicated its managing director Dr Silver Mugisha in alleged misappropriation of the corporation funds.
The MD was recently accused of using his position to influence NRM primary election in which his wife Annet Katusiime beat General Duties Minister Hon Mary Karooro Okurut to the Bushenyi Woman MP NRM flag.
Dr Mugisha was accused among others of using NWSC money to fund his wife’s campaign.
However, while responding to the allegations yesterday, Dr. Mugisha said these claims were false and intended to tarnish his name.
The accusations first came up in a petition in which Mugisha was accused of channeling funding through the Bamugisha Community Welfare Ltd (BCWL) for local development project which helped his wife’s campaign.
However, Dr Mugisha explained that BCWL is a non-profit private company, ltd by guarantee run by his wife, which implements incentives aimed at improving the welfare of especially rural communities. The company is run by Dr. Mugisha’s wife, Mrs. Annet Katusiime Mugisha.
According to returns filed at Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), the company started running in 2014 and has audited accounts up to December 2019.
Records from URSB shows that there have never been funds transferred from NWSC to the company.
Dr. Mugisha says the company, besides being fully compliant with the URSB returns protocols, “is also declared to the IGG in accordance with the Leadership Code”
He also dispelled claims that he used his own mobile number to make huge private transactions from NWSC, clarifying that these were private mobile money transactions using a CUG number attached to the MD, and that the practice did not violate any laws of the country.
“The bulk of those transactions is from my personal bank account at Standard Chartered Bank,” Dr. Mugisha said on Tuesday.
As for his support for the community programs through his wife’s company, Mugisha says this is not only out of his own good will but also his right as a Ugandan.
Another issue raised in the allegations was that the corporation had failed to account for the funds remitted by the government in the Service Coverage Acceleration Program (SCAP100) project, which has been running since 2018 that is facilitating extension of water to 12,000 villages, effecting 140,000 new connections, installing 20,000 public stand-posts and laying over 8,000kms of water mains.
The SCAP100 intervention is enabled by funding from government through the Ministry of Water and Environment and NWSC internally raised income.
“It is on the record that all the monies received from the government for the SCAP100 has been utilised for that purpose,” Dr. Mugisha said.
On allegations that the NWSC received Shs. 11 billion for COVID-19 and has failed to account, the corporation says the only COVID-19 funds received was Shs. 550 million which was used to deal with floods in Jinja, Kampala, Entebbe, Mpondwe, Kasese, Lira and Manafa, with accountabilities readily available.
It is understood that the allegations against the Shs. 11 billion were misunderstood with the money the corporation received as part of the “arrears due to the NWSC in water bills from government departments”.
The NWSC has also dismissed as unfounded that the corporation bought hotels in Eastern and western Uganda. It is understood that the corporation acquired a training centre in South Western Uganda as part of the corporate plan 2018-2024, to supplement that at Ggaba in central Uganda and another to be acquired at Kachunga in Lira to boost the corporation’s staff training programmes.
“The acquisition of the premises were all made using the PPDA rules and everything was clear,” an official said.
The NWSC MD said the allegations that he has constantly harassed a senior manager Mr. Richard Muhangi, are unfounded, the matter having been discussed and resolved by the former NWSC Board chairman Dr. Christopher Ebal in January this year.