EXPOSED: Parliament on Spot Over Shs3bn Contract with Anita’s Mama Bukedea FM

The Parliament of Uganda has repudiated claims that it paid a tune of Shs3.12 billion to Mama Bukedea FM, owned by Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, in her constituency, Bukedea District.

Parliament spokesperson Chris Obore says the reports of the alleged payment are aimed at tarnishing the image of the Speaker.

“The reason they picked the framework contract of Mama Bukedea FM is to fulfill the agenda to smear the person of the Speaker. Public, take it from me; no 3.1 billion shillings was paid to a radio station belonging to the Speaker,” said Obore on Tuesday.

Details of the said payment are contained in the hundreds of leaked documents showing the allegations of corruption, graft, unclear expenditure, nepotism, lack of transparency, and diversion of funds in Parliament under the leadership of Anita Among.

The Leader of the Opposition in the House, Joel Ssenyonyi, has demanded an explanation of how Parliament entered into a contract with the Speaker’s radio station and whether proper procurement procedures were followed.

Ssenyonyi said managers of Mama Bukedea FM did not sign on the contracts but rather staff working in the Speaker’s office at Parliament.

“There is something that is very problematic. The speaker, as we do understand, has a radio station in Bukedea called Mama Bukedea FM. Parliament gave it a contract worth 3.1 billion shillings to do parliamentary work,” said Ssenyonyi.

“I don’t know which work that is. I was on the radio yesterday, and the spokesperson for Parliament, Chris Obore, got in touch to share feedback on the same as they normally do. And he said the issue is that that money doesn’t get paid at once. I said, Well, that is what I’m even saying. The point is that at least you have accepted and admitted this contract was signed,” he added.

“Were procurement regulations followed? The other very problematic thing about that contract is that the people who signed as managers of the Speaker’s radio station are staff in her office as Speaker of Parliament. These things are problematic.”

What Obore says

Obore who is also Anita’s close ally said that government works by giving contracts to suppliers through framework agreements to ease the process of interacting with service providers.

“People go through a pre-qualification process. To prequalify means that if the government wants to deal with you, you don’t go through the rigorous process of proving yourself. In those contracts, they normally put contract amounts,” Obore said.

He clarified that the contract simply forecasts the sum the client will have paid to the service provider by the contract’s conclusion or expiration.

“It doesn’t mean that the contract in the framework is the money the media house has. I have over 100 pre-qualified media houses, but we only contract them when there is need, and they are only paid for a particular contract,” he said.

A prequalification framework agreement is a contractual arrangement where potential suppliers or service providers are pre-screened or pre-approved based on certain criteria, such as financial stability, technical capabilities, or experience.

This allows organizations to streamline the procurement process by establishing a pool of qualified vendors who can then compete for specific projects or contracts without having to repeat the qualification process each time.

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