President Museveni has not extended Mr. Godfrey Turyahikayo’s tenure as executive director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) by another eighteen (18) months, State House clarified on Thursday.
Presidential Press Secretary Lindah Nabusayi dismissed as a “fake document”, a letter that circulated on Thursday afternoon indicating that Mr. Museveni had re-appointed Mr. Turyahikayo and also appointed Eng. Lutwama Charles William as the new Deputy Executive Director at REA.
“Disregard the document and treat all as fake,” Ms Nabusayi said.
According to the circulating document, the President had purportedly made the directive to Energy minister Mary Gorette Kitutu in an April 11, 2021 letter.
“By virtue of the powers vested in the President of the Republic of Uganda by article 108A of the Constitution, I have with immediate effect, decided to appoint Mr Godfrey Turyahikayo as the new Executive Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) for a tenure of eighteen (18) months and Eng Lutwama Charles William as the new Deputy Executive Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) for a tenure of three years with effect from 1st May, 2021,” Mr Museveni wrote.
“I, therefore, hereby direct you to organise the current top management of REA to prepare to handover to the new appointees,” he added.
Mr Turyahikayo’s reappointment comes against the backdrop of corruption scandals that have plagued the government agency over the last two years.
REA is a semi-autonomous body under the Ministry of Energy charged with operationalising government’s rural electrification programmes.
Since March 2020, the agency has been making news headlines alleging billions of shillings have been schemed off in dubious contracts. In March 2020, President Museveni ordered for an investigation into REA after receiving a report from intelligence agencies claiming that some senior managers there had pocketed $8m (Shs29b) in kickbacks off the ongoing sub-county electrification project funded by Chinese Exim Bank.
Mr Turyahikayo, 71, who has been at the helm of REA for the last 18 years, had his contract running out in October 2015. Mr Turyahikayo was, however, given another four-year contract, following intense lobbying, which expired in 2019.
The former REA board had declined to renew his contract over poor performance but President Museveni directed that he should be given another year in office to clean-up ‘a den of thieves’ against a background of intelligence dossiers alleging corruption and gross financial mismanagement.