The head of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, has continued to hold his position even after being sent on a six-month forced leave earlier this month.
This revelation was made by Mr. Francis Mwebesa, the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives.
Speaking before the House Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE), Minister Mwebesa explained that he had verbally directed Mr. Ebiru to take leave due to serious allegations against him.
The Minister expected Mr. Ebiru to comply with the directive, but he has not stepped aside as ordered.
The ongoing COSASE session is examining the UNBS-related queries raised by the Auditor General, Mr. John Muwanga, in his FY2021/2022 report.
The allegations against Mr. Ebiru involve misappropriation of Shs12.9 billion and shielding five suspected staff, leading to a financial loss of Shs9.282 billion.
During the committee investigation, Mr. Ebiru admitted to spending Shs12.5 billion without proper authorization from the Secretary to the Treasury to clear rent and utility bills.
This has raised further concerns about accountability lapses at the national standards agency.
Adding to the controversy, Mr. Ebiru openly confessed to offering Shs100 million to members of the National Standards Council (NSC) to retain his executive director job.
Additionally, the Committee Chairperson, Mr. Joel Ssenyonyi, handed over Mr. Steven Wabusani to Parliament’s Police for questioning after discovering that he was holding three positions at the Ministry of Trade.
Mr. Wabusani served as a Senior Commercial Officer, Personal Assistant to Minister Mwebesa, and a technical advisor to the minister.
The Committee took this action despite Mr. Wabusani’s attempt to defend himself.