IT WILL BE GOOD BUSINESS IF PRESIDENT MUSEVENI CAN GET ALL DEALS THROUGH RIGHT AVENUES
The NRM Government which has been in power for over 25 years now has a credibility record to keep or else what is read in the press is simply bad news. Time is ripe to clean up this record. If there are established criteria to follow, it is best to follow that criteria other than cut corners and things come up like shocking news.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Picfare tables new evidence in Shs32 billion Burundi deal
Picfare’s lawyer Ssebugenyi (L), Managing Director Jobanputra and Corporate Affairs Director Mubiru share ideas while appearing before Pac yesterday. Photo by joseph kiggundu
By Yasiin Mugerwa
Posted Tuesday, December 20 2011 at 00:00
New revelation. It has also emerged that Picfare supplied 300,000 T-Shirts as part of the stationery deal arising from instructions that Picfare received from the Government of Burundi. But MPs have questioned it.
Picfare managers yesterday concluded their submission and tabled new evidence in an on-going Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the controversial payment of $13.6million (Shs32 billion) to the Burundi government.
Picfare Industries Limited told Pac that following the receipt of the $13.6 million from the Government of Uganda, they supplied scholastic materials worth $7.6m, the total value of deliveries made to Burundi, leaving a balance of $5.9 million to be delivered before 2015.
“Picfare negotiated well and got a good deal from Burundi government,” Mr James Ssebugenyi, the firm’s counsel, said. “Picfare put the pen to paper and have presented agreements and other documentary evidence to prove that this transaction was transparent.”
It has also emerged that Picfare supplied 300,000 T-Shirts as part of the stationery deal arising from instructions that Picfare received from the Government of Burundi, in a letter dated October 26, 2006. However, some lawmakers led by Maj. Sarah Mpabwa (UPDF) and Pac chairman Kassiano Wadri questioned the circumstances under which Picfare supplied T-Shirts worth Shs1.3 billion instead of scholastic materials.
Picfare managers led by Mr Ssebugenyi and the company managing director Mitul Jobanputra tabled documentary evidence showing that Burundi has so far received scholastic materials worth $7.7 million and washed themselves off the scandal.
Picfare managers said supplies worth $5.9 million remains outstanding since the contract with Burundi is running up to 2015.
Mr Mitul tabled orders from Burundi government, receipts, delivery acknowledgements, the Ledger Account, notifications and letters from Ministry of Finance and Education in Burundi and agreements as evidence of the deal. He also denied any wrongdoing in the deal. “We have got a letter from Burundi instructing us to supply them with T-Shirts,” Mr Jobanputra said.
However, Pac grilled Picfare managers on the basis of the supply of the T-Shirts as part of the scholastic materials deal. But Picfare’s Corporate Affairs Director Richard Mubiru quoted Article 1 of the 2005 Agreement which provided that: “…. Picfare shall supply and deliver the specified scholastic materials to the Purchaser (Burundi Government) in accordance with the Technical Specifications contained in the Schedule 1 to this Agreement that shall be modified annually during the five years period in accordance with the Agreement.”
Picfare further stated that the letter from the Ministry of Finance, Burundi amounted to a deviation from the contract that was catered for under Article 1 of the Agreement. But lawmakers led by Theodore Ssekikubo and Gerald Karuhanga insisted that Picfare was not supposed to supply T-Shirts.
To get more information on the deal, Pac chairman said the committee will contact Burundi and its Public Accounts Committee. Pac is expected to meet ministers who were involved in the deal next week.
MPs will also use their meeting with the President tomorrow to demand explanation from him on the Burundi saga. Mr Wadri said when need arises, Picfare managers will be re-summoned to the committee.