By Our Reporter
Shocking secrets why President Yoweri Museveni fired Jotham Taremwa, Sam Rwakoojo and other Electoral Commission (EC) officials ahead of the 2021 general election have emerged.
The country was taken by surprise on Tuesday afternoon when E.C officials who include Taremwa, who was the Commission’s spokesperson, Rwakoojo, who was the E.C Secretary and five others were given marching orders from their offices at the E.C headquarters along Jinja Road.
Apart from Rwakoojo and Taremwa, the other fired officials include; IT Director Pontius Namugera (also head technical support services), Director Finance and Administrator Joseph Lwanga, Data Department’s Edgar Kasigwa, Jordan Lubega (Administrator networks), Musuza Charles (from data section) and Godfrey Wanyoto, who headed the procurement department.
President Museveni has since replaced Rwakoojo with Richard Kamugisha, who was heading the EC office in Rukungiri District, while other positions are still vacant as the he hunts around for potential replacements.
Although the reasons for their firing were not clearly stated out in their termination letters, we have since established that the officials were fired pending investigations into their alleged involvement in graft and corruption in regards to procurement of electoral materials for the 2021 general election.
A source at State House who preferred anonymity intimated to our reporter that; “It’s not going to be easy for them because the President is extremely annoyed at what has been happening and has since directed comprehensive investigations into some of the major procurement and financial decisions of the Rwakoojo-era.”
The impeccable source added that; “The IGG, Col. Edith Nakalema and others have already received huge files regarding the sensitive financial and procurement decisions undertaken during the Rwakoojo-era, which the President is very furious about because of the self-enrichment of the fired officials.”
The source also revealed that after receiving intelligence reports that pin the fired officials on graft,
Museveni is so furious that he has since ordered for a review of the 2021 elections budget which the EC had initially secured through parliamentary appropriation.
This is because he suspects the figures therein were inflated by E.C officials for the planned expenditures in order for them to pocket kickbacks.
Reliable sources indicate that the anti-Rwakoojo axe had initially been destined to fall three weeks ago but on early Monday morning, Museveni directed his office staff to delay dispatching the termination in order to reflect upon the some of the pleadings he had received from some powerful delegation from Kazo.
The delegation, comprising of respectable elders, had learnt that their son Rwakoojo was headed for the guillotine and begged Museveni to first hear his side of the story before axing him.
It is said Museveni agreed to delay the axing a bit but in the process of verifying his earlier info, he became more furious on discovering that the rot at the EC was worse than he had actually expected, after receiving for damning reports.
Besides the graft allegations, it is also said that Rwakoojo attracted negative energy towards himself from the Powers that be after he exhibited reluctance and or unwillingness welcome Museveni’s proposal that the JV of UPPC and a German company called Veridos to handle the printing of ballot papers and other electoral materials for 2021.
State House sources reveal that although Museveni argued that prioritizing a JV in which a local company (that is state-owned) is involved would be good for job creation while saving foreign exchange that goes into importation, Rwakoojo and his group did not buy the idea and were of the view that the ballot papers had be printed from abroad, preferably South Africa.
As for Kamugisha, Gen Museveni reluctantly agreed posting him to replace Rwakoojo because circumstantially he was considered to be among the most experienced officials with adequate institutional memory of the EC.
Watch this space for details!