FORMER ENERGY MINISTER ACCUSES HIS TOP STAFF AND BUJAGALI PROMOTERS OF LYING
In another astonishing outburst has embattled Internal Affairs Minister Hillary Onek whose resignation parliament demanded over allegation of involvement in bribery told members of parliament that for all purposes did the Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development mislead the public, as by prolongation then did the promoters of the Bujagali hydro electric plant, that the new facility will produce 250 MW of power when in his own assessment only 170 MW could be generated.
Onek during his reign at the Ministry of Energy enjoyed a contentious relationship with his top officials who often contradicted him in fact, and had repeated run ins with the top echelon of the Energy Regulatory Authority, which is a matter now pending before court.
Ugandans have been keenly waiting for Bujagali to come on line later this month and bring relief to constant load shedding, a phrase used for the induced black outs across much of the country due to lack of generating capacity. Oneks outburst, in which he also suggested that the President had been misled, caused consternation amongst onlookers it was reported and at least one MP in regular contact with this correspondent suggested in a late communication that Onek should have listened to what parliament told him, to step aside to make way for a full investigation on the bribery allegations, but now he really made things worse. He has a bone to pick with the Permanent Secretary in that ministry because he repeatedly told him off when he was in Energy, a well known fact, and now seeks cheap revenge. His reputation is now in more tatters than before.
Reactions are awaited over Oneks allegation on sharp increases in the cost of power from Bujagali and the limits on power generation in coming days, as the full impact of his gaffe becomes apparent. Watch this space.