Pius Bigirimana, President Museveni’s blue-eyed Permanent Secretary is back in the news again for wrong reasons!
Bigirimana, who was at the center of a multi-billion shilling scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in which over Shs. 50 billion meant for post war recovery in Northern Uganda was misappropriated by the OPM staff, was last week humiliated by the American embassy when they denied him a visa.
He was among the top judiciary officials invited to attend the inauguration of Prof Jim Gash as the President of Pepperdine University in Los Angeles.
This incident came just weeks after U.S. treasury secretary slapped sanctions against former IGP Gen Kayihura, accusing him of corruption and human rights violations.
Reliable sources at the U.S embassy in Kampala have told us the decision to deny a visa to Bigirimana was based on reports of his involvement in corruption scandals that have been looming on since 2012.
Bigirimana often clashed with Nakiwala Kiyingi, the state minister for Youth and Children Affairs over the Youth Livelihood funds.
In May 2018, Bigirimana was rejected by power distributor, Umeme shareholders as one of their board of directors at their annual general meeting held at Sheraton Kampala hotel.
Bigirimana had been nominated by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) as a non-executive director of Umeme. NSSF is the biggest shareholder in Umeme and is partly under the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
Other nominees included Anthony March, Andrew Buglass, Stephen Emasu and Riccardo Ridolfi. After the nominees presented their credentials, they went out to allow for a vote, after some shareholders refused to endorse them without a vote. After a simple vote, the shareholders accepted all other nominees except Bigirimana whom they said were uneasy with due to his tainted image over alleged corrupt practices.
Bigirimana also came under scrutiny before the Land Probe Commission last year after he reportedly requested and received Shs 504 million from the Land Fund in 2016 for 50.5 acres of land on plot 5 Bulemeezi, block 103 that had been encroached on by squatters despite not qualifying for the compensation.
At one time Security minister Gen Elly Tumwiine branded Bigirimana and secretary to the treasury in ministry of Finance, Keith Muhakanizi "thieves".
“Both Pius Bigirimana and Keith Muhakanizi are thieves; I told them point blank in their faces, they are the thieves in prime minister’s office. They are accounting officers according to section 55 of the finance act, if you mishandle money, you are held responsible,” Gen Tumwine said.
Bigirimana was at the time the PS at Gender ministry and had demanded that Tumwiine start paying rent for using Nommo gallery but Tumwiine argued, saying the gallery was given to the artists by then President Milton Obote and that its not government property.
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