Tuesday June 20 2017

PPDA starts fresh search for director

Cornelia Sabiiti

Cornelia Sabiiti 

By FREDERIC MUSISI

Kampala- The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) board has again embarked on the search of a new executive director of the government’s procurement regulation entity after cancellation of last exercise and termination of Dr Anania Mbabazi’s appointment.
The PPDA board chairman, Prof Simeon Wanyama, told this newspaper last week that they are currently in process of receiving applications.

“The earlier process was cancelled, not just for Anania [Mbabazi]: so we decided to start the process afresh,” Prof Wanyama said.

The development comes after the board’s investigations into allegations of unethical conduct and conflict of interest against Dr Anania Mbabazi, the erstwhile preferred candidate to replace Ms Cornelia Sabiiti, who handed over office in late March after expiry of her second non-renewable three year term contract. Ms Sabiiti was first appointed in 2011.
Dr Mbabazi was one of the three top contenders out of 13 candidates who applied for the PPDA job.
However the exercise was marred by claims of backhand methods and consequently sparked fireworks after the board zeroed on Dr Mbabazi, who was ranked third with a score of 60.7 per cent in the vetting conducted by the consultant firm, Dama Consultants, against Mr Aloysius Byaruhanga, the deputy director procurement audit and investigations at PPDA, who scored 61.8 per cent, followed by Mr Bradford Ochieng, the director corporate affairs at PPDA who came second with 61.6 per cent.
Several red flags of “conflict of interest and serious misconduct” were later raised over Dr Mbabazi while he handled consultancies for the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), which prompted Finance minister Matia Kasaija, whose ministry supervises PPDA to overturn the process. The board however opted for “thorough inquiry” into the claims.
Dr Mbabazi, in an interview claimed he was victim of witch-hunt by the minister on tribal grounds while Mr Kasaija recounted the claims as “stupid.”

The PPDA executive director currently earns Shs15m. Currently, Mr Benson Turamye, the former director for performance monitoring, is temporarily holding fort.
The board put up notices calling for new applications last month and the fresh search exercise is expected to be completed before end of July.

musisif@ug.nationmedia.com

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