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Friday, June 2, 2023

Government Loses 1.5 Bn/= In UPPC Joint Venture

The top management of Uganda printing and Publishing Corporation has failed to account for the 9.91 billion shillings the value at which they gave away 1.778 hectares of government land in a joint venture with veridos consortium a German company to construct a factory in Entebbe.

Leading the team from UPPC, Kenneth Oluka together with the Secretary to the corporation, Connie Aryada were unable to answer questions to the satisfaction of the MPs.

The committee was interrogating the gaps raised in an audit report, arising from the execution of the contract establishing the joint venture.

Committee Chairperson, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi asked the leadership of UPPC to explain how they entered into the joint venture with Veridose to which Oluka responded that they did not have details showing how the venture was constituted.
“When we got into office we were unable to access the documents explaining in detail how UPPC entered the venture,” Oluka said.

The chairperson of the committee Joel ssenyonyi said the acting financial manager UPPC John Ahimbisibwe is to be held accountable for causing government loss of 1.5 billion shillings because the chief government valuer had valued the property at 10.6 billion shillings.

Ssenyonyi pressed on that Oluka, a long standing member of senior management should have been privy to the details of the venture from its inception.

Hon. Elijah Okupa (Indep., Kasilo County) added that since Oluka was in possession of the contract between Veridose and UPPC, he should be in possession of detailed information of the inception of the contract.
“The contract must have documentation of how UPPC arrived at the idea of getting into a contract with Veridose and related information,” he said.

Oluka, however, asserted that he was unable to get all background information of the contract from the Uganda Securities Publishing Company (USPC) which was established by the venture.
“The discussions that I found at the point I joined senior management were centered on handing over land to Veridose which is expected to construct a printing factory,” he said.

Oluka added that UPPC entered the partnership to mainly build capacity of the corporation over a span of 15 years after which UPPC would be expected to run independently.

Bwamba County MP, Hon. Richard Gafabusa also asked the management of UPPC if they had appointed representatives to the Board of the Venture Company USPC and the duration of their tenure.

Aryada said that the only representative UPPC had on the board had passed away the previous year and they had not yet appointed a replacement.

However, when pressed further, Oluka could not clearly state whether they had representatives on the board and their tenure of service.

Oluka asked the committee for more time to gather information and satisfactorily answer the questions in subsequent meetings.

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