By Max Patrick Ocaido
The Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja has found 7 parliamentary staff including a director guilty of corruption.
The IGG in her letter dated August 08 addressed to Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige implicated Emmanuel Bakwega, Director of Clerks, Parliament and Paul Wabwire, Deputy Clerk Parliamentary Affairs for fraudulently receiving Shs100m as facilitation for a training in Kigali and UK between December 2015 and June 2016, but did not attend the trainings.
The report observed that the two staff were advanced the money to attend a seminar, “Beyond aid: Innovative Governance, Financing and Partnership for post 2015 Agenda” at Wilton Park in June 2016.
“However, the duo failed to produce evidence of attending the said seminar. Information obtained from Wilton Park (through the British High Commission) and from its website indicates that the seminar actually took place in February 2015 not in June 2016 as indicated by Bakwega and Wabwire,” IGG report notes.
“Wilton Park also denied issuing invitation letters, invoices, and receipts that were submitted by the above officials as part of their accountability documents.”
As a result, the IGG has tasked the Clerk to Parliament to ensure that the duo; Wabwire and Bakwega refund Shs48,139,600 and Shs51,095,600 respectively within a period of 3months.
“The money should be refunded on the Inspectorate of Government Asset Recovery Account number 003030088000007 in Bank of Uganda, failure of which the duo shall be prosecuted,” IGG letter reads.
Wabwire and Bakwega are also to face the parliamentary commission for disciplinary action for receiving funds to attend a training abroad, which they did not attend but fraudulently accounted for the money.
In a similar investigation, the IGG has also implicated Julian Kaganzi, Chief Procurement Officer, Patrick Lassu, Senior Procurement Officer, Abdu Kasule Kagimu, Public Affairs Officer, Sam Bosio, Assistant Inventory Management Officer and Barbara Nabitaka, Public Affairs Officer, over an irregular procurement of a camera at Shs148m and camera stand at Shs3.4m in June 2015.
Whereas Chris Obore, the Director, Communication and Public Affairs (CPA) had been dragged into this irregular procurement, the IGG in her report exonerated him on ground that, “Chris Obore, was not part of the procurement of the professional heavy duty camera and camera stand since he joined Parliamentary Service after the video camera had been procured.”
Investigations revealed that the procurement unit of Parliament specifically Kaganzi and Lassu failed to develop elaborate specifications for the procurement of the heavy duty video camera. And as a result, the contractor-M/S MTA Computers Limited delivered a different camera as specified in the quotation and more over it was delivered in bits and pieces.
For example, the IGG observed that whereas parliament ordered for PDW-800 model, the contractor supplied PDW-850 model without the lens and later, the tripod was substituted for the lens which in effect altered the specifications.
“Kasule Abdu Kagimu, Public Relations Officer who was the acting Contract Manager did not seek approval of the contracts committee and the accounting officer as by law required. Hence the decision amounted to an irregularity,” IGG said.
Investigation also showed that the camera model that was supplied requires a card reader estimated to cost Ssh40m and since the card reader was not purchased, the purchased camera has remained redundant to date. Bosio and Nabitaka were also found guilty of misleading the Accounts Units into procuring a camera stand at Shs3.4m whose payment was effected before the item was delivered.
As a result, the IGG recommended that Bosia and Nabitaka are relieved of their duties. In her recommendations, the IGG also wants the Parliamentary Commission to ‘severely’ reprimand Kagimu for neglect of duty and breach of procurement procedures when acting as Contract Managing and failing to ensure that the appropriate authority was sought in adjusting the specifications to substitute the camera stand with the lens. Kaganzi and Lassu are also to face the disciplinary committee for neglect of duty.
When contacted Chris Obore, the director, Communication said that he has not yet received a copy of the IGG report.
“I have not yet seen the report of the IGG since it was addressed to the clerk, but I am sure she will guide me appropriately. And more so, I don’t even know how my name was dragged in that report since I was not yet an employee of parliament by that time,” Obore said.