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Trouble at Uganda Coffee Development Authority as ‘MD’ Works after Expiry of Contract

By Nathan Eyagu

 

The former Uganda Coffee Development Authority M.D is in trouble for going against the authority’s rules.

 

A few months back the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) started the process of contracting a company to develop a Mobile App that will be used to register coffee farmers across the country.

 

The revelation was made by Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, the Managing Director at UCDA during a breakfast meeting that was held at Serena Hotel in February early this year to discuss developments to facilitate the coffee export business.

 

Things didn’t seem to move well with Iyamulemye who entered into hot soup following some documents that showed how he pulled out Uganda’s membership from the International Coffee Organization (ICO) after his contract expired and frantic efforts to have his contract renewed hit a snag.

 

Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye further traveled to Dubai to attend the Dubai EXPO despite being warned against traveling there by the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze where he is due to fly back to the country this Friday.

 

The Dubai Expo 2020 is a World Expo currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 1 October 2021 to March 2021 (182 days). President Museveni is in attendance, but that is not the focus of our story today.

 

It should be noted that on September 24, 2021, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries Hon. Frank Tumwebaze wrote a letter (ADM7/166/01) addressed to the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka seeking legal interpretation regarding whether it was fine for him to re-appoint Iyamulemye as Managing Director.

 

In his letter to the AG, Tumwebaze noted that following the enactment of the National Coffee Act 2021, Cabinet was yet to sit to appoint a Board of Directors for Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).

 

Apparently, the minister was informing the AG that the UCDA Managing Director’s contract was expiring on September 30, 2021, and was seeking legal interpretation if he was right to renew the MD’s contract.

 

In his response, quoting Section 22(1) of the National Coffee Act No. 17 of 2021, the Attorney General said that there shall be a Managing Director who shall be appointed by the Board on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine.

 

According to the new Coffee Act Section 14 (4), it notes that the members of the board shall be appointed by the Minister, except the Managing Director. So in short, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze was out of order as per the letter from Kiwanuka Kiryowa.

 

“In view of the above provisions of the law, the appointing authority of the Managing Director is the board and not the minister,” wrote the Attorney General.

 

The AG said it would be ultravires for the minister to exercise the function of the board.

 

“Accordingly, I advise that a board be appointed to enable it to appoint a Managing Director of Uganda Coffee Development Authority,” advised Kiwanuka Kiryowa.

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