Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has asked Bank of Uganda (BOU) to submit procurement papers for its golden jubilee celebrations held in August last year for scrutiny.
The central bank officials led by the deputy governor Louis Kasekende for the second time failed to submit all documents the committee had asked them to produce regarding audit queries for financial year 2013/14.
Among the documents to be looked at include those used in procuring the branded rolling ball pens for its golden jubilee celebrations.
This follows media reports that bank of Uganda spent Sh125 million to procure 350 pens which were used as souvenirs to mark the occasion.
It is reported that the bank paid for these pens when the event had already taken place which the internal procurement department found irregular.
The committee chairperson Abdul Katuntu asked the officials to report back to the committee after a week.
“Is it true or it’s not true that you procured expensive pens at the tax payers’ money? Because to me it was about procurement and so all the procurement contracts and the golden jubilee celebration activity must be submitted before the committee.” Said Katuntu.
The Kasilo county MP Elijah Okupa even asked BOU to come with a sample of the pen that cost over Sh357,000 so that the committee can be able to understand what kind of pen it was.
On Tuesday, while appearing before a Parliamentary committee the BoU officials disclosed that they bought 350 pens for BoU Golden Jubilee Commemoration at a cost of Sh125m with each pen valued at Shs 357,000 causing a public uproar.
A section of Ugandans took to several social media platforms to blast the Central Bank for the alleged exorbitant expenditure.
In an interview with NTV, The Director Communications at Bank of Uganda Christine Alupo admitted that the bank used Sh125 million to procure 350 branded rolling ball point pens for guests at the
Golden Jubilee celebrations and the annual Joseph Mubiru memorial lecture.
She defended the move saying that the money was used not just to procure pens but also other memorabilia for the high profile local and international guests.