Muganzi appears before the parliamentary probe committee in October last year. (Photo credit: Enock Kakande)
Muganzi appears before the parliamentary probe committee in October last year. (Photo credit: Enock Kakande)

Charles Muganzi has spoken of his surprise over the claims.

He is reported to have presented a list to a parliamentary committee of individuals said to have been bribed by a Chinese company that wanted to be contracted to execute the railway project.

Muganzi appears before the parliamentary probe committee in October last year. (Photo credit: Enock Kakande)
Muganzi appears before the parliamentary probe committee in October last year. (Photo credit: Enock Kakande)

?I was surprised to read that I gave list of people who ate bribes,? he said.

?If I had a list of people who ate bribes and I had proof, definitely the committee would have got it from me and waved it to the press. The list was not waved to the press.?

Muganzi, who is now the PS of the ethics and integrity ministry, called it a ?very alarming story?.

He made these remarks at a press conference he called on Thursday to react to the press reports. He had appeared before the probe committee the day before.

?I don?t know who ate bribes. I don?t know who, when, how much. I don?t know in which currency they ate the bribes. I don?t know who gave the bribes. It is a very alarming story.?

At the end of his interface with the committee, he told reporters, he asked for time with the committee so that he could deal with those issues where members wanted his personal and professional opinion.

?Disaster?

The first question the committee chairman Kafeero Sekitoleko asked him was whether it was true that one big person got a big bribe, Muganzi said.

His response was that he did not but that he went on tell the panel that he had heard rumors that 16 people around town had received bribes.

?And that was the end of the subject?, he told journalists.

At the media conference, the ministry official also revealed that had warned ministers about having multiplicity of memoranda of understanding for the railway project.

?I wrote to ministers saying that multiplicity of MoUs that had been signed was going to be a disaster.?

His recommendation was that they sit on a round table with the Attorney General and remove exclusivity from the MOUs so that all companies could compete.

Muganzi?s reactions follow a recent warning by President Yoweri Museveni that he would not tolerate bribes in the SGR project.

The parliamentary committee is probing the conduct of government ministers and officials involved in the project.

It is also examining the contract signed between the Ugandan government and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) as well as advising on its economic and budgetary implications and affordability.

The probe team is scrutinizing circumstances that led to the termination of a memorandum of understanding between the Ugandan government and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for rehabilitating and upgrading the existing railway line from Kampala to Malaba.

On definitions of words like ?repair?, ?narrow gauge? and ?upgrading?, Muganzi said he told the committee that these could best be clarified by seasoned railway engineers.

Then, on the history of the project, the PS said that would best be answered by professionals who have been in the sector for a very long time.

By Joyce Namutebi, The New Vision

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