IGG orders former NWSC boss to refund Shs48m

KAMPALA. The deputy Inspector General of Government (IGG), Mr George Bamugemereire, has directed former National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) managing director William Muhairwe, to refund Shs48.2m he allegedly diverted to publish his memoirs.
The directive to be effected in 60 days, is contained in an April 8, 2015 report on investigations into alleged financial mismanagement by the NWSC top management, a copy of which Daily Monitor has obtained.
According to the report, Dr Muhairwe also hijacked a project to document company successes and turned it into doing his memoirs in a book titled: ‘Making Public Enterprise Work’. The book was launched in 2010 at a function presided over by the Bank of Uganda deputy governor, Dr Louis Kasekende.
The IGG says proceeds from the sale of the book were remitted to Dr Muhairwe’s personal account.
“Dr Muhairwe is a beneficiary of the proceeds from the sale of the book. He entered into an agreement with the publisher on September 4, 2009, where he, among others, gets 10 per cent of the income received from sales. In addition, a royalty of Shs8,000 (£2) per copy sold is paid to the Muhairwe Education Trust Limited,” the report reads in part.
Investigations indicated that NWSC initiated a process to prepare an external services information document, which was to contain information on the change of management programmes that had been implemented.
“Human and financial resources of the corporation were applied to the preparation of the document. But the final draft document that was prepared was presented to you as MD NWSC you then published it as a personal book,” IGG Bamugemereire wrote.
During the investigations, Dr Muhairwe, who left NWSC in 2011 after his contract was not renewed, defended himself against alleged plagiarism. He said around 2003, he had been approached by Mr Gawaya Tegulle, a consultant, along with his journalist colleagues from New Vision with a proposal to document the performance, improvements and achievements that had been recorded from 1998, when he was MD onwards.
The documentation of reforms which turned around the performance of NWSC started in March 2001. The acting senior manager, systems supervision, Mr Edmond Okaranon, according to the report, indicated that as part of his Master’s studies, he conducted research on ‘Change Management in NWSC’ where he researched on the 100-day Programme and Service and Revenue Enhancement programmes.
Dr Muhairwe later contacted and informed him, he had had a discussion with his research supervisor about the research, and had suggested that NWSC could document the performance success programmes incorporated in the research to produce a more thorough piece of work.
“So whenever a new programme was implemented, additional chapters were added,” the report reads in part.
In 2004, top management requested the chief commercial manager, Mr George Okol, to review and rewrite drafts of chapters and to compile memoirs of the water body’s area managers giving their own accounts on the impact of the programmes.
The NWSC also appointed an editorial team comprising, among others, Mr Okaranon Chief Manager, Institutions Silver Mugisha (now MD) Mr Okol, senior manager, corporate planning, Mr David Isingoma, and Muhairwe himself.
They compiled data of various projects but later outsourced an external consultant, Dr Justus Mugaju, for further work on quality checks and professional editing using company funds at the cost of Shs17m. A draft of 15 chapters (474 pages) was produced in 2006 titled ‘Making Public Enterprise Work: The NWSC Experience 1998-2005’ by Dr Muhairwe. More work—compilation, editing and reviewing on the manuscript was done by external services to bring the book to 17 chapters.
Around the same time, according to the report, however Dr Muhairwe had a separate project to document his life at NWSC. He told investigators, according to the report, his book required more work to turn it around with the help of external services but when he contacted the NWSC board for help, they rejected the request.
He thus entered into agreement with IWA publisher and subsequently published his book ‘Making Public Enterprise Work’ with 17 chapters.
The IGG noted: “The first draft prepared by Mr Gawaya, which Dr Muhairwe allegedly presented to NWSC is different from both the final draft presented by him and the zero draft prepared by the NWSC editorial team.” The report notes, however, “the final manuscript prepared by the consultant for NWSC is identical to the book published by Dr Muhairwe. They have the same number of chapters divided into same parts, same headings and content is similar.”
Dr Muhairwe, when contacted, said he was busy in a meeting and asked to be sent a text message, which went unanswered by press time.

musisif@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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