Museveni Sacks Energy Ministry PS Top story

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President Yoweri Museveni has sacked the newly appointed Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Stephen Isabalija.

President Yoweri Museveni has sacked the newly appointed Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Stephen Isabalija. 
The Government Spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo confirmed the development.

According to Opondo, President Museveni dropped Isabalija and appointed the Acting Director at the Directorate of Petroleum, Robert Kasande to act in the position.

"He instructed that he is paid his one month's salary. He didn't give reasons for terminating his contract," said Opondo.

Earlier on, junior staff in the Ministry told URN that they had also heard about the termination of Isabalija's contract, but were yet to receive an official communication from the Minister, Irene Muloni.

According to some sources, Dr. Isabalija's sacking is connected to the bribery allegations surrounding some of the now lucrative deals in the oil and gas sector as well as the hydropower dam developments. 

Sources believe Isabalija's sacking may have been largely connected to the cancellation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the government and and China Africa Investment and Development Company (CAIDC) for construction of Kiba Dam and bribery allegations surrounding the award of the refinery deal to the Albertine Refinery Consortium.
 
In July this year, Dr. Isabalija reportedly terminated a Memorandum of Understanding between Uganda and China Africa Investment and Development Company (CAIDC).The investors had pledged to invest 700 million dollars in the Kiba hydro project.

The termination of the memorandum of understanding reportedly greatly affected, progress towards the construction of Kiba Hydro Power Project across River Nile.  
  
Dr. Isabalija was reportedly unhappy that the Chinese investors had taken 25 months without commencing the project. 

Zhao Lionel, the President China Africa Investment and Development Company (CAIDC), reportedly complained to President Museveni and Ministry of Energy officials. 

Sources indicate that the politicians at the Ministry and some of the technical staff then handling the matter were not happy with the Permanent Secretary accusing him of acting without consultation. 

The source also indicates that Dr. Isabalija's sacking could also be connected to the eviction of the artisanal miners from Mubende recently.

Minister Muloni couldn't be reached on phone for a comment. The State Minister for Energy, Simon D'ujanga said he had received similar calls from other journalists. Dr. Isabalija's could not be reached on his mobile phone.