News and Views
PPDA Pins Kivejinja, Kagoda On Shs219bn ID Scandal
More misery has piled on former Internal Affairs Minister Kirunda Kivejinja and his Permanent Secretary Steven Kagoda over the national ID scandal after the procurement authority (PPDA) pinned them.
The authority told the defense and Internal Affairs Committee chaired by Kigulu South MP Milton Muwuma that actually, the ministry defied their orders.
Thursday morning PPDA appeared before this committee which is currently investigating the saga in which government lost Shs219bn to a German firm Muhberg that was awarded the deal to print national IDs.
The authority bosses shocked members when they revealed that actually, Kivejinja is the one who asked the entity to approve a single sourcing of the contractor. His reasoning was that time was running out yet the country was heading towards 2011 elections.
“KK on 4/3/2010 penned a letter to PPDA requesting for approval of single sourcing. His PS Kagoda then wrote another letter dated 11/3/2010 requesting for the same. We responded on 12/3/2010 objecting to the request. We told the accounting officer that it is not possible and if you are to continue with single sourcing, you must take full responsibility as accounting officer,” PPDA stated in the committee, adding that the entity advised that the procurement was supposed to be done through an open bidding process.
They went on: “When we rejected the request, on 15/3/2010, Kagoda wrote back to us saying this procurement wasn’t our business at all. He said they were going to handle it as a classified procurement.”
Interestingly, although he had earlier claimed that the matter was going to be handled as a classified procurement, time came for amendment of their contract with the company. Kagoda then rushed back to PPDA for assistance in respect to approving the amendment of the deal.
“PPDA responded saying the amendment of the contract is not within our mandate but it’s the work of Solicitor General. We said on December12/2011 that since you said this contract was going to be handled as a classified procurement without our involvement, we couldn’t help them,” they stated.
This is the second hot statement to pin the two bosses after that of ESO which warned that the company’s senior directors were actually fraudsters. This report was given to the ministry prior to the signing of the deal but it was simply dust binned.
The committee is next week also meeting Museveni on Wednesday to explain his role in this ID scandal right from its genesis.