KAMPALA – State minister for Finance in charge of Investment and Privatization, Evelyn Anite has refuted claims that she ‘hung the boots’ to take leave and cool off pressure after sporadic criticism over the way she has handled some decisions in her line of duty.
In a letter dated June 28, Anite requested President Museveni to grant her annual leave.
The Minister says she needs her leave to embark on her master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Tufts University in the United States.
“During my absence Hon David Bahati, the minister of state for Finance (Planning) will hold my portfolio,” Anite wrote.
She will be away from July 5, to August 28.
There had been unconfirmed reports that Anite is taking leave to try cool off after a tumultuous period in which she has been criticised over the way she has handled some decisions.
Some of these include the process of finding an investor for Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), which was has been under receivership for the last one year.
Museveni ordered recently that a new bidding process be undertaken after the first one was riddled with allegations of corruption.
Secondly, there is the impasse at Uganda Investment Authority where the board suspended the executive director Jolly Kaguhangire, who was seen as close to Anite.
Anite had previously accused some board members of soliciting for bribes from potential investors.
In a meeting last week with the board of UIA and officials from the ministry of Finance, Museveni agreed that the suspension stands.
Anite, who is already in the US, told one of the local news websites The Nile Post by telephone today that there was no pressure that forced her to ask for leave.
“That is mere speculation. People have written negative things about me but they are not true. Some individuals just want to bring down others,” she said.
Anite said she embarked on the master’s degree last year and much of the work is conducted online.
The one month leave she is requesting for, she said, is to enable her interface with her lecturers in preparations for the upcoming tests.
Asked why her letter is addressed to Museveni and not the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda who ordinarily is her immediate supervisor, Anite said Museveni was the sponsor of the course.
“He [Museveni] is meeting all the costs,” she said.
Source: The Nile Post