State Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr James Baba

“We wrote to Public Procurement and Disposal and Public Assets Authority (PPDA) on March 11, 2010 requesting for single sourcing but was rejected,” Mr Baba said. P. 4

“They wanted us to use open competitive bidding. We appealed through the Permanent Secretary Dr Stephen Kagoda but PPDA did not respond. When PPDA rejected our request, we went for a meeting in State House and a decision was taken that this was a classified procurement.”

When asked to table evidence of the State House meeting, Mr Baba said: “This decision was taken at a higher level. I was not there but the PS attended the meeting at State House.”

Though the minister told Parliament that the PPDA did not respond to their request, documents obtained show that former procurement authority boss Edgar Agaba in a March 12, 2010 letter, advised that the procurement could be shortened in case of an emergency like the 2011 elections.

The ministry, documents show, did not follow the advice. The PS subsequently signed the Shs200b contract with the German firm on March 19, a week after the letter from PDDA.

Flouting rules
At the time, PPDA noted that the formal application was silent on the firm to be awarded the project, cost and funding, and output of the project.

The lawmakers on the House Defence Committee led by Milton Muwuma (Kigulu South), who are currently investigating the allegation of corruption into the deal, alleged that the State House meeting called by President Museveni was intended to help the hand-picked German company- Mühlbauer Technology Group win the contract through the back door.

“Our preliminary investigations have revealed that PPDA was ignored to help the German firm win the tender,” Mr Muwuma said. The legisators now want the ministers to produce the State House minutes and other files on the ID deal.

The legislators also asked the minister to bring a list of all the equipment bought so far under the ID deal.

The minister however told MPs that the equipment were still in safe hands contrary to his admission to journalist on Tuesday that the equipment, including 30 laptops, 726 cameras, 10 signature pads, among others, were missing.
The minister told MPs that Mühlbauer Technology Group got a 64 million Euros (about Shs200 billion) deal in March 2010 on the orders of the President.

Reports claim that the then German ambassador to Uganda, Reinhard Butchnolz, lobbied the President for the contract.

By Yasiin Mugerwa, Daily Monitor

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