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UCC hits back at Evelyn Namara over fraud accusations

Evelyn Namara
Assisted Payment Solutions - Africell Airtime

Uganda Communications Commission has finally responded to Evelyn Namara, a Ugandan techpreneur, who in February of this year attacked the Commission, accusing it of arranging a scam innovation award program.

On February 26, Namara, by way of Twitter, unleashed a tough-worded thread, saying that the Commission had refused to reward winners in the 2017 Acia winners as had been promised. The winners had been announced in May of 2017, and Namara’s startup, M-Voucher, a software that uses data and digital payments to transform cash-based programs had won US dollars 7500, or Shs28 million as per current exchange rates.

In her tweet, Evelyn Namara claimed that none of the 16 winners in the 2017 Acia awards had received full payment.

After five months, UCC has finally given their side, slamming Even Namara for spreading false information, and deliberately misinforming the public.

According to Ibrahim Bbosa, a consumer affairs manager at UCC, while he acknowledges that they haven’t fully paid the innovators, he blamed Namara for deciding to give only an incriminating version of the story, yet she knows that there are certain conditions that are set for innovators under an MoU that is signed before they get money.

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Bbosa who also responded through Twitter said that the reason payments delayed this year was because most of the innovators had failed to develop detailed work plans as required by UCC, which eventually prompted a meeting to help in the above.

It is after the meeting the MoUs were signed and innovators would receive 50 to 80 percent of the money in January.

 

While Namara acknowledges, the part payment, she said some of the terms in the MoU “do not make sense.” A winner of multiple awards, Namara also argued that awards are always organized to recognize people for work they have already accomplished so there is no need for this strenuous process.

She also disagrees with Bbosa’s statement, saying that the money was got after pressuring UCC.

Acia awards were started by UCC in 2010 to encourage individuals, academia, government agencies and other entities to harness ICTs in creating solutions to Uganda’s development challenges.

Over the years, they have registered success stories, but they have also attracted withering criticism, with some people accusing UCC of soliciting bribes in form of kickbacks before rewarding the winners.

That being said, UCC insists that innovators must meet the set obligations before receiving all the money.

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