President Museveni revealed that government officials who negotiated the Bujagali power dam deal hid it from him, the reason why electricity has turned out to be too expensive for Ugandans.
“They [negotiators] excluded me. They said my presence was undesirable. I was happy that they [would] do the job. But when I asked them [later] that what the cost is, they told me 11 US cents
Sources in the known say the main problem for Bujagali Dam was the Ugandan negotiators who had personal interests in signing the over-priced deals so they could get ‘pay’ from private companies.
‘‘I negotiated for 4 cents for a unit of Electricity. My people went behind me and negotiated for 11 cents. You can’t support manufacturers with 11 cents. The 11 cents you can give to discos and those catching grasshoppers.’’ – the president said.
Bujagali dam was developed by U.S. Blackstone Group and the Aga Khan Development Network. It was financed by the World Bank, and several European development finance agencies. Industrial Promotion Services, a division of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development own the biggest shares in the project.
According to the parliamentary Ad-hoc report which recommended the termination of Umeme Limited, Uganda agreement- people who went behind the president’s back, are;
The prominent persons were;
1- Dr Frederick Kabagambe Kalisa (Fmr PS energy) and now Presidential advisor energy
2- Eng Elias Kiyimba (Former CEO UETCL)
3- David Sebabi -Former Head of Privatisation unit Ministry of energy
Note that the above 3 are the ones who represented the government in illegally amending UMEME concession agreement despite the objection of the solicitor general.
The other were according to the parliamentary report.
4- Paul Male (Former Managing Director, Uganda Electricity Board, Eskom and UMEME)
5- Sam Zimbe (Former MD UEDCL and currently Managing Director UMEME)
6- Luuka Buljan (Board member UMEME) a re-known economic hitman.
Because of these prominent persons government of UGANDA sells electricity to UMEME at 280/- and UMEME sells to us at 1000/- Ugx
MPs, who were in the 9th parliament led by Budaama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, recommended that then permanent secretary in the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, and the director of energy, Paul Mubiru, be interdicted over the “over-priced” project.
However, the officials kept their jobs. Kaliisa was only sacked last year over other issues.
In October 2009, the then Energy minister, Hillary Onek, had described the Bujagali as “a bad project, over-delayed, and over-priced.”