The Speaker of parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among ordered for an independent probe into the Shs9.6Bn spent by Office of the Prime Minister to teach Ugandans how to drink coffee, with one MP warning that if such wasteful expenditure isn’t punished, Gov’t may soon ask for funds to teach Ugandans how to use condoms.
OPM awarded the Shs.9.662Bn contract to Inspire Africa (U) Ltd to carry out 4activities; Training youths in coffee production cost Shs3.831Bn, Consumption of coffee & putting up coffee shops-Shs1.906Bn, Capacity Building (teaching the youth financial literacy & business management skills) cost Shs2.652Bn & project administration cost Shs1.271Bn.
Auditor General revealed that although the contract provided for the establishment of coffee shops in; Arua, Mbale, Lira, Gulu & Tororo; physical inspections revealed that except for Gulu, the coffee shops were either non-existent or non-operational in areas where they were supposed to be placed.
“Yes, the money was expended by OPM to promote the drinking of coffee by building coffee kiosks across the country. We made specific findings by the Committee on how far the partner went in implementing this & we came up with the conclusion that they aren’t there. And we came up with a conclusion that actually it was unnecessary expenditure,” Medard Sseggona, Chairperson Public Accounts Committee.
The leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga urged Parliament to use this coffee scandal as an opportunity for MPs to be stricter on some of these social action programs, where the beneficiaries settle for a raw deal, despite the billions allocated in these poverty alleviation programs.