Detective heaps blame on officials in bicycle scam
Posted Friday, January 18 2013 at 07:07
ASP Cherry Regina Mbabazi says the bicycles initially destined for villages had been changed for Kampala.
A police detective yesterday blamed interdicted Ministry of Local Government officials facing trial in the botched bicycle case for not disqualifying the firm contracted to supply 70,000 bicycles meant for LC1 chairpersons.
ASP Cherry Regina Mbabazi, blamed the officials for not having disqualified Amman Industrial Tools and Equipment Ltd (Aitel) on grounds that it was just newly-registered and was ineligible to handle such a huge contract.
Ms Mbabazi, who was the ninth prosecution witness, was testifying before the Anti-Corruption Court presided over by Justice Catherine Bamugemireire.
The case involves interdicted Permanent Secretary John Muhanguzi Kashaka and five others, who stand accused of abusing their offices by allegedly signing a final contract with Aitel for delivery of bicycles without contacting the contracts committee.
Shs4.2 billion is alleged to have been paid to the supply firm but no bicycle has ever been delivered.
In her testimony, Ms Mbabazi informed court that while carrying out investigations into the anomalies cited in the procurement of the bicycles, Aitel was registered five days after an advert had run in the media inviting for bids, which move, she said, was irregular and suspicious.
“During the course of our investigations, we established from the Registrar of Companies that the firm was registered on September 14, 2010, a few days after the bid had been advertised in the media on September 9,” said Ms Mbabazi.
She added: “…..we thought this was out of normal as this new company which had just been registered in Uganda did not have experience to show that it can handle a contract of such magnitude,”
Throwing more light on the firm for being newly registered in the country, ASP Mbabazi told court that it is not true that Aitel being a newly registered company in the country, it had had a joint venture with another Indian firm, Amman Impex to jointly handle the contract.