M7, New Energy Ministry PS Secrets Leak
By Stuart Yiga
The secrets between President Yoweri Museveni and the newly appointed Energy and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary, Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija have leaked, Red pepper can exclusively reveal.
It was love at first sight when President Yoweri Museveni visited Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia’s Victoria University and met Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija, the then Vice Chancellor of the University.
The president who had been invited as chief guest at the official closure of the Mozilla East African Festival at Victoria University he was spotted interacting with Dr. Isabalija on a one on one.
In attendance was the University’s proprietors; Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, his son Rajiv Ruparelia, among other dignitaries.
Due to his tight schedule yet he was still interested in the ‘young man’s ideas’, when he learnt that he was the chairperson Board of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited as well as a Board member of Uganda Development Bank, besides being a Vice Chancellor, the President allegedly tasked his personal aide Major Edith Nakalema whom he had moved with, to ensure that she gets him the VC’s contacts and other details.
Prior to his appointment as Permanent Secretary, MoEMD, the ‘young intellectual’ was in Hong Kong and had already resigned his university job.
With his vast experience in both private and public sectors including; research, professional programs, Information Technology, Industrial, Consultancy, and many other academic fields, the appointment of Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, is a true sign of hope for revamping the Ministry’s face-look, experts say.
By the time of his appointment as PS, Dr. Isabalija had already shocked his old employers with sad news through his letter dated 01, July, 2016, addressed to the Promoter, Victoria University Kampala-(Ruparelia Group) under the chairmanship of Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the Chancellor, and Chairman Council, VU Kampala, that he did not intend to renew his contract with Kampala’s first down town Victoria University, as a Vice Chancellor.
“Reference is made to my contract of September 28th 2013 effected on 1st of October 2013 to September 31st 2016 which is subject to renewal by mutual agreement between the Company and the Employee (Clause 2.1) Whereas I have enjoyed working with Victoria University for the last 33 months, I wish to notify you that I do not intend to renew my contract,” his letter read in parts.
It further reads….”I take this opportunity to thank the Chancellor, Council and the Promoters who provided professional, emotional and financial support especially at inception of the University take over. I will always be indebted to your valueless advice. The remaining time of my contract I will do the handover reports, senate business, September intake and council business.
I would like to wish the management and staff all the best taking Victoria University to another level,”
Although he has been a silent icon, he is one of the few youthful and resourceful academicians that Uganda is endowed with.
He holds a diploma in Business Administration and is a graduate of commerce from Makerere University as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the same University.
He also holds a PHD in Public Policy, International Development and Sustainable features from Southern University’s Nelson Mandela School of public health and urban affairs in Louisiana USA.
Above all, he is highly trained in Professional courses like; Project Management, Change Management from Europe and United States of America.
Another unique secret behind him is that he is one of the few lucky indigenous Ugandans with expertise and large experience in grant writing that no donor would turn down a grant proposal written by him.
The happily married, Isabalija worked in the United States of America as a research Associate Professor a journey that saw him become a program Director at the National Science Foundation, a research Organization for the government of USA.
A man with over fourteen years’ experience in Industrial Information and technology, Isabalija has published works of his in many international journals and done some consultancy work with international agencies like Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), as well as World Bank.
Although it had not been noticed by some Ugandans, in the energy and technology sector, he needs no introduction especially to those who know the magnitude of his potential in terms of expertise.
He is currently, the Board Chairperson of Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited as well as a Board member of Uganda Development Bank.
Despite being a new university, Dr. Isabalija has done a recommendable job in shaping and moulding Victoria which he found with a gross number of thirty professional and twenty support staff.
Within few months, the institution added at least 100 professional staff and about 60 support staff, hence making it one of the best University not only in Uganda but also in the region.
During his tenure as VC, he inspired many students through better values and norms that have evidently seen majority of them become job creators in a world dominated by job seekers.
“It might sound strange but the fact is that ever since I was appointed VC of VU, I have never faced any challenge because throughout the transition of my work, I have been ably supported by the Ruparelia Group in all means.” He said.
With his vast experience, there is no doubt his passion for excellent work will enable him creating a legacy in the energy ministry as a pillar of economic transformation, social development and transparency in bettering people’s lives, the very principles he stood for in transforming VU.
“The time is now for Ugandans to have ground breaking research that impacts the whole world and to achieve that goal, our Ministry through team work, will create a desirable rapport with other international institutions as a first step towards becoming the best energy sector development in the region,” Isabalija added.