January 15, 2015

16 Govt Officials Shared US$1Million Bribe in SGR Deal

Up to Sixteen government officials shared US$1million (Ugx 200billion) to influence the award of a multitrillion contract for the construction of the standard gauge railway.

Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport Charles
Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport Charles

The names of the 16 officials were given to Parliaments probe committee on the SGR in secrecy by the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport Charles Muganzi.

Muganzi was in charge of the docket when the negotiations for the contract started in 2012.

He told the committee that the officials pocketed the money from one of the Chinese firms bickering over the deal.

Muganzi’s revelations to the committee come after President Museveni told the probe committee that the memorandum of understanding signed with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) had been terminated after he learnt that some government officials had pocketed bribes.

Nakifuma County MP Robert Kafeero, the chair of the Standard Gauge Railway probe committee confirmed that Muganzi had tendered in names of sixteen officials who pocketed the bribe. He however did not divulge details on the same.

“We have the names but they have been given to us in confidence and they are protected by the law that they can be heard in confidentially, our interest is getting information, let us get to the root of the matter,” said Ssekitoleko.

Meanwhile, a source on the select committee revealed that some of the named officials had already appeared before the committee.

Controversy on the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway started when four MPs including Theodore Ssekikubo, Abdu Katuntu, Wilfred Niwagaba and Barnabas Tinkasimire petitioned parliament citing flaws in the procurement process.

Their plea was based on the cancellation of an MOU that had been signed with China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC) which was later awarded to China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) without following the right procedure.

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