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Shock as Ugandan Ministry Spends Shs400m to Transport Documents from Kampala to Entebbe; PS Geraldine Ssali Breaks Silence on Scandal

Geraldine Ssali. Courtesy Photo

Ugandans have been left in shock after learning that the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives used Shs400m of tax payers’ money to transport the documents from Kampala to Entebbe.

The Ministry was renovating its offices at Farmers House and needed to transfer files to Entebbe to enable rehabilitation works to go on.

When Ministry officials appeared before Parliament’s Trade Committee, they told MPs that Shs400m was spent on transporting the documents from Kampala to Entebbe.

MPs tasked Ministry officials to explain how Shs400m was spent on the transporting of files from Kampala to Entebbe during the rehabilitation process at Farmers’ House.

MPs also tasked officials from the Ministry of Trade to explain circumstances under which the price of the renovation of the Ministry’s offices at Farmers’ House was inflated from Shs3.1bn as quoted by Ministry of Works, to Shs6.2bn, later paid by the Ministry of Trade.

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Permanent Secretary Geraldine Ssali has spoken out on the scandal.

According to PS Ssali, regarding the renovation of office space at Farmers House it is important to note that the Ministry was allocated a Supplementary Budget of Shs5bn for rehabilitation of the dilapidated Farmers’ House.

Noting that an additional Shs3bn was allocated for FY 2022/23 bringing the total annual rent expense to Shs8bn, the PS added that the funds were intended to improve working conditions for our staff.

“After careful consideration we determined that renovating the office space would be a more cost effective solution compared to incurring recurring annual rent expenses. However there were delays in releasing the funds, which were approved in Aug 2021 but disbursed in April 2022. This posed a challenge when it came to securing suitable accommodation promptly. Nevertheless, we obtained clearance from the Solicitor General for our procurement method of restricted bidding and ensured compliance with the Uganda PPDA Act,” she explained.

“It is crucial to highlight that if these funds were not utilized as intended, they would have been returned to the Treasury per legal requirements. The Solicitor General approved the renovation of the premises and all necessary supporting documents are available for reference. The Rationalization of Government Agencies (RAPEX) Program is currently being implemented in Uganda to reduce costs associated with government office space rent. Renting office space at UGX 8Bn would have contradicted this objective.”

She also spoke on the future of the ministry and how much money the rationalized entity will need for rent every year. “Additionally, over the next three years, MTIC will accommodate three additional government agencies necessitating an additional 3,000 square meters of space and exceeding UGX 10Bn in annual rent expenses.”

You can see the list of government ministries, departments and agencies that will be scrapped, as well as how much money UNRA officials will get as compensation when the roads agency is scrapped Here and There.

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