By Our Reporters
City media personality Simon Kasyate is just hours away from becoming the Deputy CEO for Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) which is charged which marketing Uganda’s tourism potential to the rest of the world. With the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Daudi Migereko-led UTB Board done inputting into the recruitment process, what remains is tourism Minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu securing the President’s no objection and sign onto Kasyate’s instrument of appointment. Kasyate, who bitterly lost the bid to speak for Parliament to longtime foe Chris Obore years earlier, has been working as Manager Corporate Affairs for UEGCL having earlier on worked with South African power generation giant ESKOM. But how did he get the job? Which hurdles did he have to overcome in order to become rated most suitable to deputize MD to the all-important UTB whose promotion activities this year alone brought in Shs5trn in forex earnings? Interviews were done recently and sources (close to Kamuntu, who supervised the recruitment process from a distance) have revealed to this news website that Kasyate had to overcome 4 other equally good candidates for the job. They included the incumbent John Sempebwa (now sour raping), PFSU’s Ivan Kakooza, Uganda Tourism Association CEO Richard Kawere (also don at Mubs) and a one Dan Karikweri. During the oral interviews conducted by PSC’s Board A, Kasyate (who anticipated hostilities from co-interviewer Doreen Katusiime whose husband Frank Katusiime he had previously written bad Observer stories about) put his oratory skills to work. “The fool had done his research on tourism and when he started talking none of the guys on the interview panel ever wished him to stop. He exuded confidence and eloquence. He seemed to know what he was talking about and you really had to be very malicious not to give him the job,” says a source close to the process. The smartly-dressed Kasyate was also asked about his job-hopping “because every two years you seem to be on the move.” Panel members, who jokingly had already reminded him about his hostile reporting about Doreen’s spouse Frank, feared he was going to become emotional and lose his composure. To their surprise, that is one question on which Kasyate excelled most. “I’m still a young man with a lot of energy, patriotism and enthusiasm to serve my country. And I hate getting stuck doing one thing and working in one place. I like to move on and confront new challenges. That is how I have chosen to lead my career path,” Kasyate submitted as panel members signaled him to carry on. “I’m not always motivated by just the pay cheque but potential to impactfully serve my country. That is why I moved from Eskom to UEGCL. As I moved to UEGCL, I had been given a much better offer by UMEME but I declined even when they offered me a better salary, better office vehicle and more generous medical insurance package for myself and family. I chose less-paying UEGCL because with me it’s never just about the money. So in this job I see an opportunity to make a contribution communicating Uganda’s tourism potential to the rest of the world at a time when the sector is increasingly taking lead in bringing in the much-needed foreign exchange.” Kasyate assured the panel that, even when it’s his habit to move from jobs, he won’t quit midway his contract and corroborated this by referring to his record in the places where he has previously worked. He said he was disciplined and mission-oriented. At the end of the day, the talkative scribe from Rukungiri emerged second best. The very best was Bradford Ochieng who currently works as Corporate Affairs Director at Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) which he joined after a stint at PPDA where journalists revered him for his approachability and clarity with which he answered their questions. Before moving on to UCDA, Ochieng had applied for the job of ED PPDA but became frustrated when some powerful people in State House showed preference for Angela Kiryabwire who bosses at Finance Ministry have continued rejecting. Finance Ministry supervises PPDA.
Renowned for his brilliance, Ochieng strategically applied for both UTB CEO and Deputy just in case. In the end he emerged best for both. Kasyate was 2nd for the deputy CEO and the job became his the moment Ochieng chose the one of CEO. The man from Karamoja shocked the interview panel when he emerged best for CEO and Deputy CEO and in both oral and written interviews. For the CEO job, Ochieng (renowned for his calmness) beat ex-UWA ED Andrew Seguya (was 2nd) and Ngamba Sanctuary CEO Ms Ajarova who was initially favored by both State House and officials at the tourism Ministry. Whereas others have moved on, Seguya and Sempebwa haven’t. Sempebwa has even hired city lawyer Fred Muwema to write to Kamuntu threatening to challenge the process in court. In his letter to Kamuntu, its clear Sempebwa is angry Doreen Katusiime asked him what he says where malicious questions including whether he had ever undergone any disciplinary proceedings while serving as UTB Deputy CEO. She also asked him why he was seeking to remain Deputy CEO after so many years in the same position instead of aspiring to grow to the full CEO position. One member of the interview panel wondered whether this wasn’t evidence something wasn’t right with him. Sempebwa became angry and says this was all done to maliciously disadvantage him at the interviews. As for Seguya, it’s his supporters like NRM Poor Youth Coordinator Issa Kato who have been posting stuff on social media belittling Prof Kamuntu and accusing him of bias. The irony is that unlike Sempebwa, Seguya can easily afford to do without the UTB job because as CEO for the Kigali-based Greater Virunga Trans-Boundary organization (an intergovernmental job lobbied for him by Kamuntu and Museveni), he already earns $6,000 per month in net salary besides allowances and having diplomatic status in Kigali. At just 52 years, Seguya has been many things and his supporters say he is uncomfortable with Kigali because he likes living in Uganda close to his family. Indeed one of the interview panel members asked him about this issue as to why he is leaving such a well-paying job but his answer was reportedly not very satisfactory. For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.