By Max Patrico Ocaido
Eng. Denis Bamwoya Sabiiti, Rubanda West County MP in Kabale district is in hot soup over his ‘questionable’ role in the controversial SGS contract.
This is after a report from the committee on Physical Infrastructure pinned Sabiiti, who was by then the commissioner Transport Regulation at the Ministry of Works and Transport for conflict of interest, connivance among others in the awarding of contract to Société Générale de Surveillance for mandatory inspection of motor vehicles.
During the Wednesday sitting, Peter Ogwang, Usuk County MP and Parliamentary commissioner while referring to the committee report, asked parliament to investigate ex-commissioner Sabiiti saying that his conduct during the award of the motor vehicle inspection to SGS is questionable.
The committee was among others given the obligation to investigate the process of procuring of the contractor-SGS for the mandatory inspection of motor vehicles.
The committee report cited a possible connivance between Ferdinand Bitanihirwe, a former Country Manager at SGS with Eng. Dennis Sabiti, ex-Works ministry commissioner and that he had sent the latter an email proposing that for any companies to qualify, they should have operated in at least three continents and must have at least capital investments worth 12 million Euros (Shs.38.3 billion) and operation for vehicle inspection service in three continents.
It is noteworthy that Eng. Sabiiti Denis was the Chairperson of the fourth contracts Committee that re-instated the award of the contract to SGS after the high court ruling of 22nd June 2012.
However, the committee report noted that during their interaction with Eng Sabiiti, the latter agreed knowing Bitanihirwe and admitted receiving the email from him, but noted that the particular email was the work of an unscrupulous individual who had hacked into his mailbox.
“The response that Hon Sabiiti proved to the committee that his email was hacked is wanting. If his email was hacked then why didn’t he report to Police? I don’t know what our rules say on how to treat people who are now in parliament, but I think the responsible arms of government should investigate our own Hon Sabiiti because his conduct in the award of this contract to SGS is questionable,” Ogwang said.
Ogwang added that Eng. Sabiiti's response to the Committee is in sharp contrast with his November 22 2010 response to the same allegations to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works where he categorically stated that he did not at all know Mr. Ferdinand Bitanihirwe.
Anita Among, Bukedea Woman MP added that there was conflict of interest after SGS Country Manager Christophe Dubois confirmed that they had hired Eng Sabiiti as their consultant from July 17, 2015 to May 17, 2016.
"Mr. Sabiiti as far as I know left civil service in 2015, I assume he made himself available for consultancy services and yes, he was hired as a consultant by SGS," Dubois said last year while appearing before the same committee.
Majority of the MPs called for the termination of the SGS contract as clearly stated in the minority report that has become more popular than the major report that was spearheaded by the committee chairperson Lilian Nakate.