The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities started the Miss Tourism project to boost domestic travel, but it has since become embroiled in accusations of corruption and poor administration. This is a shocking revelation.

Once Moses Zikusooka brought the initiative back to life in 2013 and the late minister Maria Mutagamba gave her support, things took a dark turn when allegations emerged that the minister had misused her position to push her own version of Miss Tourism.

According to sources who preferred anonymity, the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities initially had planned to restore Miss Tourism Uganda under Moses Zikusooka’s direction, with the late minister providing support.

But halfway through the project, rumours circulated that the minister and her daughter Marrienne Naava Mary, had renamed it as “Miss Tourism Uganda-Pearl of Africa,” using her position to intimidate and marginalise individuals involved in the first effort.

It is said that the minister’s activities caused the project’s original members to become disillusioned and withdraw, so putting Miss Tourism Uganda (MTU) under her control.

Moreover, it is asserted that the minister pushed for the creation of twelve regional clusters under MTU, using her power to obtain financial and political support for her version of the project.

Concerns about poor management and financial wrongdoing remained even after attempts were made to voice complaints to ministry representatives, including Stephen Assimwe, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board at the time and the then Permanent Secretary. Sadly, there have been reports of two competitors dying in mishaps related to project funding misappropriation.

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After the minister left office, the issue allegedly got worse, and the new leadership decided to cut ties with MTU because of their continued concerns.

“The situation escalated following the minister’s departure, and subsequent efforts by the Ministry to fund cluster activities encountered opposition from Miss Tourism Uganda-Pearl of Africa,” according to a source.

Recent events suggest that MTU, purportedly still influenced by the late minister’s family has turned to unscrupulous means of holding onto power, including creating regional clusters under new names and substituting former queens who support MTU’s objectives for the original cluster heads.

Stakeholders in the tourism industry have lost faith in and support for the project as a result of these actions; sponsors have stopped contributing, and concerns about the project’s accountability and transparency are growing.

“In an attempt to exert control over regional operations, the family of the dead minister has taken control of Miss Tourism Uganda-Pearl of Africa and has recently used misleading tactics, such as registering unconnected cluster names and excluding original regional cluster leaders. The source stated, “As a result, there has been a loss of sponsorship and disenchantment among tourism stakeholders.”

The project’s goals have been compromised by MTU-PA’s alleged manipulation and intervention, despite the Ministry of Tourism’s best efforts to support grassroots clusters.

The post Unveiling the Shadows: Corruption and Mismanagement Plague Miss Tourism Uganda appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.

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