By Catherine Apolot
In May, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana was kicked off Umeme Board of Directors by the power distribution company shareholders.
Bigirimana had been nominated by National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to represent their interest on the board.
This was during the Umeme annual general meeting that took place at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. Bigirimana was among the five nominated people on board but trouble arose when shareholders were asked to endorse his appointment through vote.
During voting, members enormously rejected Bigirimana’s appointment and he was the only one who was kicked off the board out of the five under unclear reasons.
However, in a letter addressed to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on 7 September, 2018, President Yoweri Museveni said the workers felt concerned that Umeme intentionally left out their representative on the board thus appealing to him (Museveni) to intervene in protecting their interests.
The president has therefore directed Kasaija to spearhead the appointment of Bigirimana to the Umeme Board to safeguard workers interests.
“As you are aware, NSSF is the majority shareholder in Umeme. Since the fund handles workers savings, their interests must be dully protected by a government representative who is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development,” noted Museveni.
“I am therefore, directing you to urgently investigate their complainant and ensure that Mr. Pius Bigirimana is appointed to the board of Umeme to safe guard workers interests,” the President ordered.