State House investigates poor Kasese relief items

Sunday July 25 2021
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Col Edith Nakalema, the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit. PHOTO/FILE

By Elizabeth Kamurungi

The State House Anti-Corruption Unit is investigating officials in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) over procurement and supply of substandard relief items to Kasese District.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabanjja on Tuesday rejected an assortment of relief items meant for flood victims in Kasese District, saying they were inferior.

The items included 40,000kgs of maize flour, 20,000kgs of beans, 2,000kgs of sugar, 2,000 pieces of tarpaulin, 1,350 jerry cans, 1,000 basins, 100 cartons of laundry soap, 1,000 mosquito nets, 100 blankets, and 100 mats.
“Kasese District is not a dumping ground, I have rejected the blankets and mosquito nets because they are substandard. The supplier must bring good ones, these are the things that paint a bad image of our government,” Ms Nabanjja warned.

Sources say upon return to Kampala, Ms Nabanjja met with Col Edith Nakalema, the head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, and directed an investigation into the matter. Information from Col Nakalema’s office indicates an investigation was immediately instituted. 

“The prime minister herself directed this Unit to conduct investigation into those substandard supplies to the internally displaced people and we have already commenced. We are gathering all information in regard to that supply,” the source said.
The State House team will work with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to establish whether or not the supplies are substandard and probe the suppliers, procurement officials, and procedures followed.
By press time yesterday, sources privy to the investigations declined to speak about those involved in the deal.

“All reliefs are handled by the OPM. It is only our investigations that will reveal who supplied such items, the procurement procedures followed and who is to be faulted, ” the source said. 
Officials from the OPM have over the years been implicated in procurement mess in various relief interventions, with the latest being  when four OPM officials were  arrested for inflating prices of relief food during the 2020 Covid-19 induced lockdown. 
 

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