The Minister of Trade, Francis Mwebesa has suspended David Ebiru, UNBS boss for six months to pave way for investigations into allegations of bribing the Board with Shs100 million for extension of his contract, misappropriation of public funds and misconduct.
The Minister said before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE).
Following the suspension, Joel Ssenyonyi, Chairperson COSASE asked Ebiru to comply with the suspension, so as to allow smooth flow of business at UNBS, as any interference may affect the Bureau’s mandate of ensuring minimum standards of good Ugandans consume.
In a twist of things, Ebiru withdrew his statement earlier made before the committee that he bribed the Board with Shs100 million for extension of his contract, saying the remarks were made out of anger and high animosity between him and the Board.
“I wish to formally submit to withdraw that statement because I took note that it offended many people and it was quoted out of context. So, the issue of offering my chairman Shs100M for protection as reported, I want to withdraw it formally, because I know it was recorded but I want to confirm that it was out of the environment we were operating in, high tempers, high animosity so it was really not intended to harm anybody,” said Ebiru.
The committee is investigating Ebiru, the Executive for misappropriating Shs12.5 billion. The Chairperson of the Board of UNBS, Charles Musekuura said that the Ebiru had caused financial loss at the entity and was at the helm of corruption and numerous irregularities.
He revealed that out of the total $4.9 million in the account, only $1.5 million had been sent to the Consolidated Fund, while the remaining $3.4 million was converted and utilised to support the bureau’s operations at its source under the authority of the director.
“The $3.4 million was used at the source which, to my understanding, was contrary to the law and I am mindful that whatever it is that I have to do at the bureau, I am guided by the law,” Musekuura said.