By Mulengera Reporters
At the Public Service interviews, veteran journalist Simon Kasyate and Bradford Ochieng emerged best suitable candidates for the position of Deputy CEO and CEO for Uganda Tourism Board (UTB). As we reported on Saturday, Ochieng (an ex-Corporate Affairs Director at PPDA and UCDA) emerged best at both CEO and Deputy CEO interviews. The moment Ochieng chose CEO, the PSC opted for Kasyate for Deputy since he had been 2nd to him in the interviews. That’s the report Public Service Commission (PSC) sent to Tourism Minister Prof Ephraim Kamuntu to finally appoint the two. Instead Kamuntu, who sources say came under political and donor pressure to ensure regional and gender balancing, came up with something totally new saying the Tourism Act allows him to. In the end he made Lilly Ajarova CEO and Ochieng Deputy CEO, something that has sparked anger in many circles. Many have since wondered why money had to be wasted in PSC meetings when politics would in the end carry the day.
She was favored not because she was a lady only but also because of where she comes from and the person she was married to. She is the widow of Dr Salim Bachu who was one of the earliest Museveni government Ministers in the late 1980s. He hailed from Nebbi district where he and Okumu Ringa were the biggest Museveni figures for a while. Museveni always liked Bachu even when he was never an elected MP. Some say Ajaraova’s UTB posting politically reconciles Nebbi and reaches out to the late Bachu family ahead of 2021. Kamuntu officially spoke to UTB Board members and told them the reason he was taking Ajarova is because he does not want a situation where the CEO and Deputy at UTB are both new in the tourism sector. This he says informed his decision to have Ajarova because of her vast experience in tourism having previously worked as a tourism manager at UWA for more than 8 years. She has also been managing the heavily donor-funded Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria. The other Kamuntu plan is to look up Kasyate and offer a personal apology to him for the disappointment resulting from the Deputy CEO job being denied to him yet he had excelled at the interviews. “Prof Kamuntu is a nice old man who likes carrying everyone along. He agrees with the Board and PSC that missing Kasyate was very unfortunate because the sector would have benefited from his excellent communication and marketing skills. That’s why he will be meeting and talking to Kasyate asking him to take heart since he is a young man with a lot of future ahead of him. It’s not only Kasyate. He will also be talking to Andrew Seguya and John Sempebwa to make them understand what happened and why. This is important because those two have equally been aggrieved yet Professor doesn’t like conflict in the sector. That is the spirit in which he will be reaching out to Simon Kasyate so that he doesn’t feel discriminated yet he is our good cadre,” said a knowledgeable source adding that even the President will be calling Kasyate to make some assurances to him that this isn’t the end. For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.