Two of Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa’s daughters are in the spotlight over an award of a contract to supply oxygen plants to Mulago National Referral Hospital and Entebbe Hospital.
According to Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development’s (Mofped) Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) Covid19 Interventions Report, Charlotte Nankunda Kainerugaba and Ishta Asiimwe Muganga, two of Kutesa’s daughters won a contract, were paid to supply two oxygen plants but deliveries delayed for months.
Although the Shs6.4bn invoiced under R1658/MAY20/01 was paid by June 30, Kainerugaba and Muganga of Silverbacks Pharmacy Ltd had neither made deliveries nor installations by September 2020 when the monitoring teams filed their field visit reports.
They report by BMAU also accuses Kutesa’s daughters of inflating the contract sum.
The experts at the monitoring unit noted that whereas Silverbacks Pharmacy Ltd supplied and installed oxygen plants to 13 regional referral hospitals at almost the same cost of Shs6bn three years ago, government had paid Shs6.4bn for only two plants.
Although the exchange rate in 2017 was Shs3,370 compared to about Shs3,700 in May, the cost could not have risen to that level.
But who are Charlotte Nankunda and Ishta Muganga?
The two daughters of powerful and long-serving minister Kutesa are co-directors at Silverbacks Pharmacy Ltd, a company they founded in 2004.
Charlotte is the wife of first son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Their marriage is one of the many things that have glued the relationship between President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni and Kutesa despite the recent political contest between Shartis Musherure, Kutesa’s other daughter, and Godfrey Aine Kaguta Sodo, the president’s younger brother, in Sembabule District’s Mawogola North.
Ishta is wife to businessman Albert Muganga, a co-director of the Pioneer Easy Bus Transport Company.
She is also the Israeli consul to Uganda, having been appointed in May 2020 by Israel’s foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
Kutesa himself has been named in several corruption scandals, but not much action has been taken against him.