UMEME Denies Bribery Claims

Power distributor, UMEME has denied allegations of bribing MPs to shelve an adhoc committee recommending the terminations of its contract.

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Sam Zimbe, the General Manager UMEME says their company has a policy of zero tolerance policy to bribery.

His statements follow recent claims by some parliamentarians that their colleagues had pocketed a bribe of 5million shillings each from UMEME to quash the findings in an ad-hoc committee report.

As a result of the allegations, Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, directed the rules and privileges committee to investigate the claims.

By mid last week, the committee had hit a snag with Paul Kato, the officer in charge of investigations claiming that CCTV footage from Protea Hotel – the alleged venue where bribes were dished out was missing.

Kato told the committee that the hotel management told him that the CCTV system broke down in September.

Zimbe said they shall not comment any further on this issue until the rules committee of parliament releases its findings.

The adhoc committee report, faults UMEME for inflating power losses, high electricity tariffs and also misrepresenting how much they have  invested so far.

However a Technical Services Report done by Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) on UMEME reveals that between 2005 and 2011, UMEME had invested US$114m, above the US$65m as per the concession agreement terms.

“As per LAA (Lease and Assignment Agreement) UMEME was supposed to invest a minimum of US$65 Million in the period ending 2010 that is the first five years of the concession; this therefore implies that Umeme fully complied with the agreement on investments to be made,” reads the UEDCL report.

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