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2021 Polls Reward? Electoral Commission Procures Office Curtains Worth Shs 294 Million Amid Queries

By Marvin Ocol

Months after successfully concluding the 2021 general polls, the Independent Electoral Commission of Uganda has procured office curtains worth Shs 294 million.

Documents in possession of The Gazette shows that M/s Kimwa Uganda Limited supplied 258 curtains and office accessories for 43 offices for Kampala Region at 77, 400, 000; 240 curtains and office accessories for 40 offices to Elgon Region at Shs 72, 000, 000; 198 curtains and 33 office accessories for West Nile Region at Shs 59.4 million and 288 curtains and 48 accessories for South West Region at Shs 86.4 million.

On September 8, 2021, On September 8, 2021, Ag EC Secretary Leonard Mulekwah authorized for payment.

“…The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to authorize payment to the supplier, M/s Kimwa Uganda Limited, for the supplies made to your respective regions…” part of Mulekwah’s letter reads.

However, this authorization follows numerous correspondences pointing to an anomaly in the contract.

For instance, in one of the letters dated August 13, 2021, the author writes: “We requested the procurement file for curtains and we received the following response from PEO/PDU: The Procurement and Disposal Unit does not have any of the records that you are requesting for as listed below. This transaction was not requisitioned for and therefore no process was done by the PDU, no local purchase order could be issued and no evaluation report, contract committee reports could be done when the transaction is not known by the PDU. I have therefore no information to provide to you…”

On August 6, 2021, another official had queried the same, asking for a procurement requisition from the user department, local purchase order/supplier contract or agreement, evaluation committee report, contracts committee report and goods delivery note.

An August 9, 2021 report also pointed to a missing procurement file.

 “However, we were unable to get the procurement file for the supply and delivery of curtains since PDU responded by saying that they did not have any of the above requested procurement information. Having failed to get the above necessary documents, we are still unable to carry out a proper verification exercise for the curtains…” the report reads in part.

As a result, there are reports of a probe at the Commission.

Commission Spokesperson Paul Bukenya in a comment told MediaScape News that he was not aware of any official probe going on at the Commission but insisted the elections body has nothing to hide.

“At EC, our systems are clear and funds can be tracked our accounts. Whereas is it true regional offices have their own accounts for easy of running activities for example during the lock down periods, the monies are traceable,” Bukenya told MediaScape News.

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