Uganda: UNBS Executive Director Accused of Misappropriating Shs12.5 Billion

Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises have raised serious allegations against the Executive Director of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), David Livingstone Ebiru claiming that he misappropriated a staggering sum of Shs12.5b without the necessary clearance from the Secretary to the Treasury and approval from Parliament.

The committee members have accused Ebiru of financial impropriety, corruption, and various irregularities.

During a meeting between the committee members and UNBS officials, Charles Musekuura, the chairperson of the Board, informed the committee that Ebiru was responsible for financial losses at the organization and was involved in corruption and numerous irregularities.

Musekuura revealed that a collection account, which received money from the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) suppliers, was tampered with, as the Executive Director only remitted 1.5 million US dollars to the consolidated fund out of the 4.9 million US dollars received.

Musekuura also criticized the Executive Director for failing to take action against five staff members who caused a financial loss of 9.2 billion shillings. These individuals are still employed by the institution despite their involvement in financial irregularities.

Additionally, the Executive Director accused the chairperson of the Board of spying on the organization after he failed to provide him with the necessary documents to address the situation.

The committee further questioned Ebiru regarding the expenditure of 27.3 billion shillings without authorization from Parliament. In response, the Executive Director argued that the funds were not used as a “bonanza,” but rather urgently required to prevent substandard goods from entering the country.

UNBS officials are expected to appear before the same committee to address other audit queries raised in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2021/2022. These additional inquiries will shed light on the overall financial management and accountability within the organization.

The accusations of corruption, irregularities, and failure to discipline staff members involved in financial losses have cast a shadow over the UNBS. The ongoing investigations and forthcoming audit queries will be crucial in determining the extent of the financial mismanagement and ensuring accountability within UNBS.

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