David Bahati, a key witness in the inquiry into a bribery scandal involving Umeme has declined to reveal the identities of the implicated legislators.
Bahati appeared before the Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee of parliament, which is investigating reports that Umeme bribed some MPs to block an adhoc committee report recommending the termination of their contract.
The speaker of parliament ordered the investigations after Ann Maria Nankabirwa, the Kyankwanzi District Woman MP raised a flag during the NRM caucus meeting chaired by Bahati in December last year.
According to media reports, Nankabirwa singled out the implicated legislators who were reportedly pocketed the bribes at Protea hotel in Kampala.
As a result, the Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee invited Bahati as a key witness. Bahati confirmed that, Nankabirwa raised the complaint that some members of the caucus were being compromised.
He says that the caucus decided to initiate investigations into the allegations according to the guidance they received from Amama Mbabazi, the former prime minister.
Bahati however said their investigations could not start because parliament referred the matter to the Rules Committee for investigations.
When tasked by the committee to reveal the identities of the implicated legislators, Bahati said he doesn’t recall the MP mentioning particular people. Wilfred Niwagaba, the lead counsel of the committee demanded that Bahati furnishes the committee with minutes of the caucus meeting, which he agreed to do.
Ann Maria Nankabirwa, the Kyankwanzi district Woman MP and Stuart Cook, the general manager of Protea hotel failed to show up before the committee as expected despite receiving summons. This is the third time Cook has failed to show up.
As a result, the committee has now decided to issue him fresh summons through Uganda Police. Niwagaba warned that should the General Manager fail to appear they will be left with no choice but to issue a warrant of arrest.
Various attempts by the committee to secure CCTV footage from Protea Hotel to establish whether MPs visited the hotel and received money failed since the hotel management claims the cameras were non-functional.
Despite the bribery allegations, parliament adopted the adhoc committee report recommending the termination of Umeme’s contract.