June 3 2018, sources within the Defence ministry and Parliament say the solar power project was used as a cover to get funds and use them for other unspecified activities.
Ministry of Defence officials spent at least Shs6.7b worth of taxpayers money on a non-existent solar power project.
Sunday Monitor understands
that the funds in question were urgently requested from the Finance ministry in
a 2016/17 supplementary budget to Parliament.
In their justification for the supplementary request, the technocrats in the Ministry of Defence officials claimed they wanted the funds in question to “urgently instal solar power at the Kololo ceremonial grounds”. Three years later, not a single panel has been installed at the site in what has now molded into a scandal, drifting at the door steps of the ministry.
This scandal raises crucial questions about the whereabouts of taxpayers money, and the motive behind the numerous supplementary budget requests procured under the cover of “emergency spending pressures”.
When Sunday Monitor visited the site, there was no sign of accountability of the public funds spent. The same findings are contained in the latest report of the Parliament Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs chaired by Mityana District Woman MP Judith Nabakooba.
The committee asked Parliament to pick interest in the latest scandal with a view of investigating the culprits who took the funds meant for the project.
Ms Nabakooba told Sunday Monitor last week that her committee was not satisfied with the explanation of the ministry officials.
When pressed on the
accountability of the funds, Ministry of Defence officials claimed “they were
still handling the procurement of the project” three years down the road. It is
also not clear why the Defence ministry did not return the funds to the
Consolidated Fund at the end of 2016/17 financial year.
Sunday Monitor could not confirm whether Ministry of Defence officials requested the Secretary to Treasury to retain the Shs6.7b under the committed funds window.
When the ministry failed to convince MPs on the accountability of the funds, committee members rejected their explanation and took the matter to Parliament.
So the solar market in Uganda is still large. Our all in one solar street light and portable solar power home kit have a bright future in Uganda and other countries in Africa.
Factory Add.: Floor 3, Block C, Building 1, Senyang High-tech Park, Guangming New District, Shenzhen.
Offie Add.: Room 113, Building E, Baoanzhigu, Yintian Road, Baoan District, ShenZhen.