Government has come out to refute media reports that have in recent days speculated on a study leave taken by Minister Evelyn Anite to the U.S claiming it could be a calculated move by the appointing authority to sideline her.
The reports pegged this to recent allegations that the State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Evelyn Anite solicited a bribe amounting to USD 8 million (She 28.8bn) from an investor.
On June 28, Hon Anite wrote to President Yoweri Museveni seeking permission to travel to U.S (Tufts University) where she is pursuing a Global Masters of Arts programme in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
She said that her classes at Tufts University would run between July 5 and August 28 this year.
“During my absence, Hon Minister David Bahati, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development will hold my portfolio,” she said in the letter.
Now, following the speculation in the media, Minister Bahati who is now filling Anite’s shoes in the interim has come out to clear the air.
“Our attention has been drawn to various online and social media postings that have purported to make statements and claims related to and or attributed to Hon Anite, the Minister of State for Privatization and Investment,” Bahati said in a press statement released on Friday.
One of such postings circulated on WhatsApp groups yesterday, stating that Anite’s Parliamentary seat had been rendered vacant and that she had stated she is not returning to Uganda. The same post added that Minister Anite had apologized for “acting out of ignorance” and asked for forgiveness.
But Minister Bahati clarified that Anite requested and was granted official study leave from July 4 to August 28 which she has since taken.
“The Minister’s official duties and responsibilities for the period of the said leave will be handled by the Minister of State for Planning and Economic Development,” Bahati said in his statement.
He added; “Hon Evelyn Anite’s absence from the Ministry and travel out of the country is to enable her to undertake the study leave and not any other reason as has been alleged”.