Embattled Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) boss Twebaze Bemanya has quietly secured an extension of his five-year contract nine months before it elapsed and in the middle of a storm over administration of Uganda Telecom (UTL) affairs.
The custom has been that the board sits two months before expiry of the term of office for such senior government officials.
But Bemanya’s contract as Registrar General was renewed on June 19, 2019 to take effect in March 2020 till 2025.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire renewed Bemanya’s contract on June 27, 2019.
“I am pleased to inform you that pursuant to section 14 (1) of the URSB Act and to the recommendation by the Board of Directors communicates to me by the chairman URSB in his letter dated June 19, 2019, Your contract has been renewed as Registrar General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau,” said Otafiire.
It remains unclear how the board will assess the remaining months leading to March 2020.
The decision to renew Bemanya’s contract has taken many by surprise.
“It’s something that needs to be looked into. Why the haste? Especially at this time when his administration of UTL is being questioned?” wondered a senior official at the Ministry of Justice.
But Bemanya sought to prove his strong leadership skills, telling staff in a memo that URSB’s revenue collections were hitting through the roof.
Bemanya said URSB managed to collect Non-Tax Revenue (NTR) of Ush 56.2Bn against a target of UShs 40.1 Bn set by the Ministry of Finance in the last financial year.
“We over shot the target by Ush 16.1Bn,” said Bemanya in a message to staff this week.
According to Otafiire’s letter marked “confidential”, Bemanya’s reappointment came with terms and conditions which include a consolidated salary of Shs 159m; a chauffeur driven vehicle; medical care for his family; gratuity and other benefits.
Otafiire asked Bemanya to respond to the offer in 14 days.