Upon release of reports from the Auditor General’s office indicating Operation Wealth Creation’s (OWC) participation in supply of relief food during the first lockdown, multiple questions arose.
Many people questioned how Operation Wealth Creation landed the deal to supply relief food during the first lockdown which lead to the release of a statement explaining the way they landed the deal.
All this was a result of information disclosed by the Auditor General’s office stating that Operation Wealth Creation that doesn’t deal in the supply of food products through the Prime Minister’s office was involved in the supply of the relief food.
The report further indicates that OWC had supplied 4000 metric tons of maize at UGX 10 billion and 1800 metric tons of beans at UGX 8.1 billion hence totalling up to UGX 81.1 billion.
However, OWC’s Director in charge of Operations Sylvia Owori explained that their involvement in the supply process was only meant to save the situation since most suppliers were redundant. Due to this, they stepped in since they could access farmers easier as they have been in contact with them when they supply seeds.
“This was a special procurement where they(OPM) called upon most of the suppliers in the system but we were not part of this tendering exercise in the first place. We have been supplying seeds throughout the country and we, therefore, tapped into this network of farmers from whom we got the produce. It was during the lockdown and it was not easy to get supplies from wholesalers. Therefore, we approached the farmers, they accepted to give us produce on credit and money came later.”
While speaking to media, Sylvia Owori went on to say that they landed the deal through the rightful channels after the initial supplier Mandela Millers failed to match up to the standards set by the office of the Prime Minister.
“Operation Wealth Creation in response to the crisis being faced by the country intervened by tapping into its network of over two million individual small household farmers. We sourced and procured food items including 1.8 million kilograms of beans at a cost of shs8.1billion and maize flour at a cost of shs10 billion,” she said while explaining the situation.
Furthermore, Sylvia Owori stated that initially, made houses had fed the public with false information stating that the procurement of food cost from OWC cost UGX 81.1 billion yet in actual sense, it cost only UGX 18.1 billion.
“Therefore, the total amount spent on the procurement of the food items came to shs18.1 billion and not shs81.1 billion as has been falsely claimed by some media houses,” she went on to inform.
In reaction to reports that OWC’s deal resulted into inflating prices, Sylvia Owori denied these allegations stating that they bought maize flour at UGX 2,400 and stood it to government at UGX 2,500 while the UGX 100 was meant to cover operational costs.
Additionally, Sylvia Owori said the reason as to why multiple false reports are being circulated is because of the stiff competition that exists between small and big companies owned by government.