David Livingstone Ebiru has been sacked as Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards following damning findings by a parliamentary probe and investigation by the UNBC Board.
Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives Minister Francis Mwebesa says the findings of the National Standards Council and Ebiru’s admissions before the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, COSASE left no options but to terminate the embattled ED’s contract.
Mwebesa’s letter points out that Ebiru admitted to having withdrawn and spent 3.2 million dollars (11.5 billion shillings) from the PVoC (Pre-export Verification of Conformity) collection funds at source, yet it was supposed to have been remitted to the Consolidated Fund.
This contravened the Public Finance Management Act 2015. He is also pinned having admitted to spending up to 285 million shillings at source, from funds deposited by traders and businesses as security “contrary to the advice and guidance of the Accountant General and the Republic of Uganda Treasury Instructions 2017.”
Ebiru also admitted to having made several cash withdrawals without authorization of the Council and the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, violating the UNBS Finance and Administration Manual (5.0 [a]) and (5.6) and Treasury Instructions 2017; The letter further points out Ebiru’s admission to having failed to discipline five staff members who caused financial loss to the standards body totaling 9.282 billion Shillings. These had reportedly, backdated inspection dates on Inspection Reports and edited application dates on the E-portal Applications.
His other offense was denying having been investigated and found culpable by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) for the misappropriation of funds meant for the Fuel Marking Project jointly, despite there being evidence of a plea bargain by him and others to refund the said misappropriated funds.
“In view of the above, and on account of your own admission to having breached the law and laid down procedures and in accordance with Section 11 (2), (5) [b] and [c] of the UNBS Amendment Act 2013, Council unanimously recommended that I cause your dismissal as Executive Director of UNBS,” Mwebesa’s letter reads in part.
In the letter he concurs with the recommendation of the NSC, explaining that Ebiru’s actions dented the UNBS’s reputation. “Your admission of bribery under oath and attempting to withdraw such an allegation has caused grave injury to the reputation of the Chairman and Members of the Council,” Mwebesa says.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that I hereby dismiss you from the position of Executive Director of UNBS with immediate effect; in accordance with Section 11(2), (5) (b), and (c) of the UNBS Amendment Act 2013”. Ebiru was confirmed 14th CEO of UNBS in May 2021 replacing the retiring Dr Ben Manyindo.
Following the parliamentary probe last month in which he admitted to bribing Council members in order to protect his job, he was suspended for six months pending further investigations, and replaced by Daniel Richard Makayi Nangalama in acting capacity.