The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero, has written to the chairperson of the Coffee Investment Consortium Uganda (CICU), Nelson Tugume, asking him to account for Shs37b received from the government to promote the coffee value chain.
In a letter dated January 15, 2024, Dr Musenero said the directive is from President Museveni.
“His Excellency the President is requesting for an update on how far we have gone following the disbursement of the funds worth Shs37b towards coffee value chain,” she said.
“In that regard, the Science, Technology, and Innovation Secretariat is in the process of putting together the technical financial report for the above-mentioned subject,” she added.
This comes after coffee farmers led by former New Vision CEO Robert Kabushenga accused Tugume of misappropriating $10m received from the government to promote exports of value-added coffee in foreign countries such as Serbia.
While Tugume through his lawyers has issued an intention to sue to Kabushenga, accusing him of defamation, the latter has continued to use his social media handle to attack the former.
The former New Vision CEO welcomed the directive.
“Seriously, a step in the right direction that a written demand for accountability has issued. One more area where public civic action can work in this case is to demand that the bank where Coffee Investment Consortium received public funds and swindled it be quizzed for money laundering. You can start by naming them. Over to you guys, for now. Kind regards,” he posted on X.
Last year, President Museveni directed the Finance Ministry to set aside $10 million (Shs37 billion) as a coffee export fund to allow exporters access to the required capital to procure large quantities of coffee from farmers for value addition and export.
MPs had rejected this idea, saying the project was a non-starter.