A whistleblower has petitioned the directorate of inspectorate of government IGG to carry out criminal investigations in the illegal and irregular release, allocation of shs 17bn used in the sericulture Pseudo project and innovation Fund/covid-19 innovators under the ministry of science, Technology and innovation.
The detailed report to IGG dated 23rd July 2020 under the ref GEN/20/WB/01 says Uganda National Council for science and Technology (UNCST) issued a call for innovations under the innovation fund for researchers to benefit from funds.
The letter adds that among the beneficiaries were a private company called Tropical institute of development innovations Ltd (TRIDI) with its CEO Mr. Clet Wandui Masiga.
The letter further says the ministry of finance planning and economic development allocated shs 17Bn to this 2020/21 financial year to COVID-19 fund innovators adding that ministry of Science Technology and innovation (MoSTI) issued a public call for innovators to compete for the funds in March 2020.
The whistleblowers adds that the ministry of finance, planning and economic development continues to irregularly advance financial resources to this private enterprise which is not a ministry of science, technology and innovation.
The reporter says, tropical institute of development innovations (TRIDI) has no project number and has never been approved as a project by Development committee of ministry of finance ,planning and economic development MoFPED in line with guidelines for the approval and reviews of the public investment plan (PIP)projects nor is it subvention under the ministry. The letter also indicates that TRIDI received over shs 1Bn in 2019/2020 FY and it has been allocated shs 12Bn this financial year with all the glairing illegalities. The letter adds that tax payer’s money should not be spent on private enterprises without memorandum of understanding.
The letter says that the IGG should investigate irregular disbursement of funds allocated to Sericulture be halted until an MOU with a private company TRIDI is negotiated and signed and criminal investigations are commenced in the illegal allocations, that the permanent secretly MoSTI officially recruits government staff for the sericulture project. That Sericulture goes through the entire project development committee process to acquire project number it accesses taxpayer’s money.
The whistleblower wants IGG to institute criminal investigations into how the few beneficiaries of shs 17Bn were hand picked personally by the minister and whose names are not known by anybody apart from the minister himself at the expense of other innovators who responded to call for proposals for the covid-19 funds.
The whistleblower wants IGG to halt the disbursement of shs 17Bn until all the procedures laid out in the cabinet approved National Research and Innovation fund framework are followed to identify competent innovators.