By Marvin Ocol
A contractor has petitioned the Inspectorate of Government – IG over the conduct of a manager of Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL).
Freba International Ltd, an engineering company majoring in Construction works says UETCL’s William Nkemba, a Project Implementation Manager is demanding for a bribe to clear their payment for the construction of over 50 resettlement houses.
The petition was received at the IG on June 30, 2022.
According to Justus Mugisha,, the Contract Manager – Freba International, the firm was awarded a contract for construction of 50 resettlement houses for Project Affected Persons in the Mbarara-Mirama hills Transmission line.
However, he accuses Nkemba of unprofessional conduct in the form of asking for conditional commissions, sub contracts and cash as a condition to pay for the executed contract work certificates or provide the available sites as per scope and contracts.
Mugisha says Nkemba demanded that “we offer a sub contract to Altom constructors LTD, a company owned by his agent – Basanjjansolo which was rejected by the management.”
The petitioner says it is from here that delays of payment commenced.
According to Mugisha, Freba International, the company submitted an invoice in February 2018. However, it was followed by demands that the cost be inflated to aid timely pay, a demand they rejected.
Predicted right, the pay was delayed for one year. Mugisha accuses Nkemba’s employer of just looking on even after they reported the matter to them.
For instance, Freba International says that they held a meeting on June 17, 2019 with UETCL Managing Director – William Kiryahika. During the meeting, Mugisha says they expressed concerns over Nkemba’s conduct and the delays around the project.
Another meeting of December 23, 2021 did not help either.
Freba International now wants the IG to look into the matter.
In an interview with an online publication recently, UETCL Spokesperson Pamela Byrouganda said that the matter is still before courts and as such “we can’t comment until the case is resolved.”
“If there was a case of solicitation for bribes, Freba should have contacted the police. As it stands, there is no case that has been filed against any staff of UETCL. UETCL doesn’t condone or tolerate bribery and corruption. If the case is before IGG, then let’s wait for the conclusion of the investigation but UETCL requests that Freba desists its smear campaign against UETCL staff,” Byoruganda said.