Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM has cautioned party legislators to desist from acts of corruption as they execute their work on different parliamentary committees in the 11th Parliament.
Justine Kasule Lumumba, the party Secretary General made the remarks as she delivered her speech to newly sworn in members of the 11th Parliament under the NRM parliamentary caucus at Kololo Independence Grounds.
The legislators were convened on Monday afternoon by the party Chairman, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to express their interest in serving on different Standing and Sectoral Committees of Parliament.
In her address, Lumumba told MPs that the party Central Executive Committee – CEC in the 10th Parliament was forced to disband the entire committee membership before its tenure elapsed after corruption tendencies had been reported.
“You have special roles. Before you check excesses of others like the Executive and the Judiciary, first check excesses of Parliament. It is our responsibility to fight corruption,” said Lumumba.
Lumumba added that the party has evidence that some committee members solicit money from different heads of government entities.
She added that in some instances, committee members decline to sign reports before they are paid.
In August 2017 during the Tenth Parliament, bribery claims hit the Physical Infrastructure Committee, then chaired by former Luweero Woman MP Lillian Nakate that was investigating how Societe Generale De Surveillance (SGS), a Swiss firm won the deal to conduct motor vehicle inspection in Uganda
SGS was on the spot for reportedly offering bribes to legislators to tilt their findings on its operations in Uganda.
Suspicion that money could have exchanged hands between Members of Parliament and officials of SGS came to light during a closed-door meeting between the company and the Physical Infrastructure committee of Parliament.
The company signed a USD 12.5 million-contract with the government in 2015 to carry out routine inspection of vehicles under “Safe Drive Uganda,” a road safety campaign intended to ensure vehicle road-worthiness and reducing carnage on the roads in the country.
The contract required that 10 percent concessional fees are paid to the government while SGS earns up to 90 percent of the inspection fees. However, as the investigation took shape, SGS agents reportedly approached a technical officer attached to the committee offering him up to 35 million Shillings to author a favorable report. URN also received information indicating that several members of the committee were approached individually by SGS agents in what could be another attempt to compromise them.
But the Committee boss Nakate and her Vice Chairman Wilson Nsamba Kumama refuted the claims.
But later the Former Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa appeared on the floor of parliament and disbanded the committee members and proposed a new team.