MPs wonder who is in charge at UNBS after minister reveals ED defied order to go on forced leave.

In a stunning turn of events, David Livingstone Ebiru, the Executive Director of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), recently admitted before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) that he bribed the Board of Directors with shillings 100 million to retain his position.

This confession has sent shockwaves across the country and raised serious concerns about transparency and accountability within the institution.

In response to the unfolding scandal, the Minister for Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Francis Mwebesa, appeared before COSASE to provide his testimony expressing his bewilderment at finding Ebiru still occupying the position of UNBS’s head despite his directive to the Board of Directors on June 26, 2022 to place the embattled Executive Director on forced leave.

“I was shocked to see the embattled Executive Director at the committee hearing. I had issued a letter to the Board of Directors instructing them to immediately send him on leave,” revealed Minister Francis Mwebesa during his appearance.

This revelation has cast doubts on the implementation of the Minister’s directive and added more scrutiny to the ongoing investigations into the bribery allegations. It highlights the complexities and challenges faced in addressing corruption and unethical practices within the institution.

Meanwhile, the COSASE members did not stop at the UNBS bribery case. They also raised concerns about the numerous waivers being granted to certain companies in Uganda. The legislators argued that such waivers not only pose potential health risks to Ugandans but also raise security concerns for the country.

Furthermore, the PIVOC (Public Investment Vehicle Ownership and Control) program came under scrutiny for allegations of corruption. The embattled Executive Director claimed that the best-evaluated bidder was announced without his knowledge, casting doubts on the transparency and integrity of the procurement process.

As the investigations continue, the revelations presented during the COSASE hearing shed light on the challenges facing UNBS and the need for enhanced accountability, transparency, and ethical practices within the organization.

In a related development, the Committee took action against the Personal Assistant to Minister Mwebesa, a one Wabusanyi, who was handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) police. He faces allegations of contesting in the Parliamentary elections without resigning and subsequently returning to the Ministry.

The unfolding scandal at UNBS serves as a stark reminder of the importance of upholding ethical standards and maintaining transparency within public institutions.

It underscores the need for stringent measures to combat corruption and protect the integrity of organizations responsible for upholding quality standards and regulations in Uganda.

Source; Nile Post

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