OP-ED– Well, a few days ago especially during the State of Nation Address which took place on Thursday 9th June ,2022, at Kololo Airstrip, Media has kept awash with discussions on the cost, procurement processes of the new cars that have been supplied to Parliament of Uganda to be used by the Speaker and her deputy.
These discussions have continued on radio waves, social media platforms, Television and even Sunday Monitor of June 12th, 2022 published an article with distorted content.
Most of the published content or even discussions have deliberately tended to dirt the image of Parliament. This sparked our interest as investigative journalists, writers to have a keen eye in and on this story and give facts to the other side of the coin that has either deliberately been left un-flipped.
Our investigations have found out as follows,
For those that have been keen on Parliamentary business, you should be aware that in August 2021, the Commission of Parliament drew a Procurement Plan for 2021/2022 and in this plan purchase of Ceremonial Vehicles for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House was part and this decision was taken by the Commission.
It is important to note that the Speaker is the 3rd ranking Government official/Public servant as far as protocol is concerned and so like any other Top public official, the Speaker is always entitled to a brand new ceremonial vehicle.
Parliament or even Government has always had both the procedurals and standard on which to buy these ceremonial vehicles.
Ceremonial vehicles are entitlements to the Prime Minister of Uganda, the President, the Vice President and so is the speaker of Parliament.
The Parliamentary commission got the funds provided with in the Development budget 2021/2022, there after, the procurement plan was drawn.
Procurement did a call for bidders and many companies bids were received including Spear motors, Maybach Motors Ltd among others.
They all failed to go through. Spear Motors which had almost ranked top, over quoted the Price price of Ugx 2.9Billion over and above the budget that was provided by Parliament’s Procurement and market survey.
For those that have studied procurement or have had the privilege to sit on procurement committees, in procurement the law says you go for the lowest not the highest so long as the specifications are kept to the standard.
Besides spear motors having quoted way above the budget that Parliament had, there was no room for Spear motors to reduce nor Parliament getting more funds since it was already aware of the market price.
The other technical issues that led to Spear Motors failing to go through, is the issue of time. They (Spear Motors) could only deliver the said vehicles after a year!
Yet these ceremonial vehicles were long over due, given the fact that even we were coming to the end of the Financial Year and the frustrations that Spear Motors had taken Parliament before in 2017, Open sourcing of the supplier was the option! How did Parliament alive to this?
In our next investigative segment, we will tell you how Albeity came into the Picture, where the said vehicles are? Where they will be services from? What it means for Uganda? And who could probably be behind tainting the image of Parliament.