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NITA Bosses Run To Solicitor General As More Agencies Turn To UTL

Panic has intensified in National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U) ahead of the reported dissolution.

Credible sources reveal that a few days ago, NITA bosses rushed to the Solicitor General (SG) crying out loud after Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi assured them his decision directing all Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)  to buy internet data services from only UTL wasn’t reversible.

The NITA team was spearheaded by its Legal Director Stella Alibateese. They told the Solicitor General that they risked being sued because they already have running contracts and MOUs with MDAs.

They also said Muhakanizi’s directive was creating confusion in many MDAs which have been used to getting internet from NITA.

Sources reveal that the Solicitor General consulted Muhakanizi, who revealed that the NITA bosses’ fears were unfounded because the Attorney General was personally aware of everything and there is no way MDAs can sue NITA because they serve under the same government.

“Muhakanizi also informed the SG that it’s not true that NITA has been kept in the dark about the new directive,” a source said, adding that he also told the SG that the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija had organized and chaired many meetings to which NITA ED James SAKA has always been invited.

Meanwhile, a number of MDAs have welcomed Muhakanizi’s directive; they have joined UNRA in cutting links with NITA which they accuse of overcharging them internet at USD300/MBPS as opposed to USD100 charged by UTL.

Agencies Joining UTL

Those quitting NITA include the Trade Ministry which thanks Muhakanizi for his BuBU-boosting directive. Others are URA, UNRA, UCC, DFCU Bank, Century bottling company, World Bank, UPDF and entire defense ministry, WFP, Housing Finance Bank, UNBS, MUBS, Makerere University, IGG, DPP, Judiciary, US Embassy, USAID, UNMISS, UAP, Jubilee insurance and UETCL, which has always resisted earlier government policy forcing all MDAs to buy data services from NITA.

Many more agencies have kick started the process to abandon NITA including the Ministry of Finance itself. Sources say Under Secretary Betty Kasimbazi has already complied with Muhakanizi directive by writing to UTL ordering for a number of telecom services.

Sources say NITA bosses’ proposal to work with UTL by giving it  the management contract now held by SOLITON has also been rejected, with NITA being directed to hand over everything to UTL since they are both government entities.

Muhakanizi assured SG that is was too late for NITA to have any more excuses because the loan which built National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) project was contracted by government of Uganda through the Finance Ministry and not NITA directly.


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